The trades training complex is currently under construction at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus.

The trades training complex is currently under construction at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus.

Sheret boosts college project

Andrew Sheret Limited has pledged $50,000 toward the Bright Horizons Building for Skills campaign

Inspired by Okanagan College’s goal of building one of the most sustainable trades training facilities in North America, a B.C.-based distributor of plumbing and heating supplies has stepped forward with major support for the $33-million renovation and expansion project.

Andrew Sheret Limited has pledged $50,000 toward the Bright Horizons Building for Skills fundraising campaign. The company’s donation will support the construction of a tool crib in the new trades training complex currently under construction at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus along KLO Road.

“First and foremost, we see this as an investment in the future tradespeople of the province,” said Brian Findlay, president of Andrew Sheret Limited.

“As technology advances, current training is so essential. We’re very proud to be able to support students and help the next wave of apprentices learn their trade.”

“The new trades training complex features innovative design and the latest technology and equipment,” said Jim Hamilton, president of Okanagan College. “This facility will provide our students with a learning environment that matches the high quality of instruction they are receiving.”

Findlay notes that the plan for sustainable construction was one of the factors that attracted Andrew Sheret Limited to donate to the college a second time, having previously given $50,000 to support the construction of the Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence in Penticton.

“Sustainability is very important to us,” said Findlay. “Our home office in Victoria is located in a LEED Silver building, and so when we heard about the college’s plan for sustainable construction on this building, similar to what the college achieved with the Centre of Excellence, that was something we were passionate about supporting.”

Okanagan College is currently the second largest trades training institution in B.C. The 10,000-square-metre renovation and expansion project includes the construction of a 1,858-square-metre outdoor training space, which is covered by a canopy housing one of the largest solar photovoltaic arrays in the province.

It is estimated that the panel will generate more than 208,550-kilowatt hours (kWh) per year. The average home in B.C. uses 8,000 kWh per year, meaning that the panel could generate enough electricity to power 26 homes for a year. The array will aid the college in achieving its goal of net-zero energy usage for the complex — meaning the building will generate all the energy it needs. The new facility will also feature smart environmental controls systems and processes, including geothermal heating and cooling and grey water recycling.

The Bright Horizons Building for Skills fundraising campaign for the $33-million complex renovation and expansion project launched in October 2014.