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Three local businesses demonstrated their commitment to social responsibility today as they announced support for Penticton students and Okanagan College’s Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technology and Renewable Energy Conservation.
Management from the Ramada Inn & Suites, Coast Penticton and Kettle Valley Station Pub presented Okanagan College with $50,000 to create student study space in the new $28-million building, which is on schedule to open this spring.
“Penticton is a close-knit community and what is good for our young people is also good for the community,” explained Gordon Ferguson, General Manager of the Ramada Inn & Suites and Coast Penticton. “Our contribution to the Centre of Excellence will go toward creating useful study space for students as they pursue their educational goals.”
Several students from Okanagan College were in attendance at the announcement and had the opportunity to express their gratitude toward each of the businesses and their owners, Janice and Robin Agur. The donation was accepted by Steve Tuck, president of the Okanagan College Foundation.
“We have had a long and productive relationship with the Agur family and the businesses they operate here in Penticton,” explained Tuck. “They are strong partners and friends of Okanagan College and their commitment to this community and its students is admirable. We are grateful for their continued support and value the services they extend to students, employees and community members.”
“Today’s contribution combined with the $66,000 raised over the years through the Ramada’s annual wine auction brings the total level of support for Okanagan College to $116,000,” said Martin Lewis, Director of Food and Beverage and shareholder for the Ramada and Kettle Valley Station Pub. “Our staff has been committed to supporting education and we are proud to be a part of the College’s growth and success.”
The Centre of Excellence is on budget and scheduled for completion in 2011 at a cost of $28-million. It is aiming to meet the standards of the Living Building Challenge – the highest designation for sustainable building in North America, and one that has not yet been achieved.
The Federal and Provincial governments supported the Centre of Excellence initiative with $23-million in funding, $13-million and $9.1-million respectively, through their Knowledge Infrastructure Program.