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After the flood: Tour Bow Valley College, Calgary's new education hub

Located on the LRT line in the city's downtown, the new campus will offer courses from four institutions

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Calgary’s Bow Valley College chose a downtown location, on the north side of the City Hall LRT platform, for expansion of its campus. The $160-million south campus had its grand opening in June – then it was among the downtown buildings that was hit by the flood.

Laura Leyshon/The Globe and Mail

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Flood-proofing saved the new south campus, and the renovated north campus across the street, from major damage, says Sharon Carry, Bow Valley’s chief executive officer. Still about $10-million of work is required to restore storage, parking and shipping-receiving areas of the buildings back to their pre-flood state. The flood only briefly stopped the school from operating.

Laura Leyshon/The Globe and Mail

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Here is the entrance to the new south campus where students will not only be able to take Bow Valley community college courses, but can also sign up for courses offered by Athabasca University, Olds College and the University of Lethbridge. The four postsecondary institutions will share the space.

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This new educational hub allows students to move seamlessly from their downtown jobs to the 50 new classrooms and among the various schools. Here a tall chromatic light column, an original piece of art, has been saved from the old courthouse which was leveled to make way for the south campus.

Laura Leyshon/The Globe and Mail

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The south campus is designed to encourage walking with broad sets of stairs throughout the new seven-storey building. Bicycle use has also been encouraged with 120 indoor and 48 outdoor bicycle parking spots provided. The south campus is on the LRT line, then it’s connected to the north campus by a pair of elevated, covered walkways. The facility is a certified LEED Silver sustainable project.

Laura Leyshon/Laura Leyshon for the Globe and

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On the fourth floor, students and staff can take an outdoor break on a patio and roof-top garden planted with drought-tolerant prairie perennials and shrubs. Indoors, there is also a 208-seat cafeteria and a Tim Hortons.

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A view overlooking the fourth-floor patio and west to downtown Calgary. The campus is well positioned as a gateway to the East Village, a property development spearheaded by the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation and will bring new life to a formerly rundown portion of the downtown core.

Laura Leyshon/The Globe and Mail

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