Medicine Hat College (MHC) today introduced a unique concept that addresses the recreational needs of seniors in our community, offers a holistic approach to wellness, while providing value to college students, employees, and the community at large.
The City of Medicine Hat has explored several options in an effort to ensure a sound decision can be made to address the valid needs of seniors in our community. At the same time, Medicine Hat College is striving to serve the needs of students, employees, and community members with a multi-purpose multi-generational space which would provide health and wellness services, host athletic competitions, provide daycare services, enable the presentation of events and conferences, enhance access to technology, and support experiential learning across numerous academic disciplines. It would also be a space to foster entrepreneurship and innovation.
Conversations between civic leaders and college executive have occurred and the concept is now being explored. Titled, “Generations: The College Community Commons,” the concept unites college and community interests in a creative and collaborative manner. Today, MHC shared the concept publicly.
“We’re here today to share an exciting, fresh vision for the community and the college,” said Darren Hirsch, MHC board of governors’ chair. “Generations: The College Community Commons is a bold concept with an expansive vision that meets not only the needs of seniors, but also students and community.”
“It is our intention to walk shoulder-to-shoulder with our community partners to ensure a path forward to a collaborative future,” said Denise Henning, college president and CEO.
Hirsch went on to acknowledge the valid needs of the senior population, both now and in the future.
“As we look ahead, we know that the number of seniors within our population will grow. We know also that the needs, goals, lifestyle, and image of this valuable demographic will change dramatically.”
Generations: A College Community Commons would provide dedicated space for seniors, with additional access to social spaces, food services, a fitness centre, medical, commercial, therapeutic, allied health and mental health services to meet the current and future needs of the senior population.
The project would also provide many benefits to the campus community, including the capacity to host athletic competitions, conferences and events, as well as enhanced experiential learning through the provision of appropriate facilities that integrate academics with related services, activities and sports, and trades and technologies.
Students will also have a voice in the conversation. “The Generations concept presents a unique opportunity for students. Pooling college resources with partners will allow for a facility that may not be feasible on our own,” said Students’ Association president, Landon Heilman.
“We look forward to working with college leaders and other partners to not only learn about the concept, but also make sure that the needs of students are fully considered. My role will be to ensure the student voice is always heard.”
Hirsch also recognized the importance of students, and the potential value in a multi-generational approach.
“Students will gain a richer environment to learn. As just one example, we have an entrepreneur development centre that engages students with business mentors; who better to serve as mentors than people who have spent their lives in business solving real problems?”
Hirsch also acknowledged the timing of the college’s proposal. “I know we may seem late to the existing conversations, but it was important that we took enough time to develop a concept, and this opportunity is too good to forgo. Seniors gain, students gain, all generations gain. It is a wise application of taxpayer investment, and the project offers the opportunity to develop a business plan to support sustainability.”
Medicine Hat College is celebrating its 50th Anniversary and we invite you to connect with us. Visit mhc.ab.ca/50years to learn more.
Known for our focus on students − and our innovative and collaborative nature – Medicine Hat College proudly serves over 8,000 learners each year. Committed to the communities of southeastern Alberta, yet mindful of global opportunities, we invite you to develop your full potential through our broad array of programs, courses and services. MHC is a proud member of Campus Alberta and welcomes partnership to benefit our students and communities. To learn how we’re here for you, visit www.mhc.ab.ca.
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