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New building at Ontario Tech to emphasize experiential learning

The new building at Ontario Tech University is scheduled to be completed by September 2021. (Photo courtesy of Ontario Tech University)

By Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express

Ontario Tech University has announced its newest building will be the hub for collaboration and experiential learning opportunities.

Standing outside of the construction site, Ontario Tech President Dr. Steven Murphy announced the intentions for the new building, and spoke about the university’s relationship with the City of Oshawa.

“All of us at Ontario Tech are proud of the role that our university plays in our community,” he says. “We’re honoured to support economic development and prosperity, and while doing so, doing our part to attract new business, and new talent to Oshawa.”

He says initiatives taken on in partnership with the city help students to get the hands on experience employers want, while also harnessing their creativity to help solve real world problems.

“The city has always been great to deal with, especially when it comes to the heritage properties we’re proud to maintain,” he says.

He notes the new building will also house the faculty of health sciences, which will create valuable opportunities for students with a unique perspective across health disciplines.

It will also help support the expansion of simulated and experiential learning at the school.

“I can think of no better time to boost the faculty of health sciences than during a pandemic,” says Murphy.

The new building will help the program focus on robotics and the future of health sciences.

However, the new building won’t be entirely about experiential learning and the faculty of health sciences.

“This will be a place where students can hang out, get something to eat, feel at home,” says Murphy. “It’s a beautiful combination of the human touch that is Ontario Tech in our students, matched with the technological touch that we always do no matter what we’re doing.”

Oshawa Mayor Dan Carter says he’s “proud” of what the campus has become, noting post-secondary education is a part of where the future of Oshawa lies. (Photo by Chris Jones)

As the rain began to pick up, Mayor Dan Carter, under an umbrella held by Ward 2 City and Regional Councillor Tito-Dante Marimpietri, praised Ontario Tech’s efforts to expand and grow.

“Every time I come on this campus, I’m so proud of what it has become and what it represents,” says Carter.

The mayor says the city’s investment in the university as a whole has been great.

“You look around this campus and what it’s been able to accomplish over its 17 years, and you have to say to yourself it’s been a great investment,” he says.

However, it’s a “lane you have to be in,” he says, as post-secondary education is a part of where the future of Oshawa lies.

“This is where the city understands that by supporting programs, initiatives that are coming out of our universities… we understand that that will help us build a bright future,” he says.

The new building is expected to be completed by September 2021, and Murphy says he hopes to see students back on campus by the time it’s ready.