COLLEGE PUSHES TRUCK-RELATED EXPANSION

SCARBOROUGH, Ont. — Centennial College has moved into the letters-of-support phase of the expansion of its Heavy Motive Power Training Centre, a branch of which trains truck drivers.

At a meeting with stakeholders yesterday, the Scarborough, Ont. school outlined its proposal for expansion. Arguing that the school’s current facilities are “stretched to the limit,” Alan Stephen, director of Centennial’s school of transportation, says the letters will support its application for funding from Ontario’s Ministry of Economic Development and Trade.

Stephen’s wasn’t able to say precisely how much the expansion will get from the ministry. He pegged the cost at several million dollars.

The driver-training school is currently housed at Centennial’s Ashtonbee Campus in Scarborough. It will be moved as part of the expansion, and the likely candidate for its new home is the old Canadian Forces Base in Downsview — located just north of Toronto.

Part of the expansion includes a more comprehensive training course for the prospective drivers, Stephen’s explains. He noted that the average age of its student’s has fallen from 29 to 22 over the last few years.

A highlight of the new facility, and the new curriculum, will be an outside training area that includes a control tower and a “remote-controlled skid pad for multi-vehicle, all-climate use.”

The school’s training partners include Cummins, Freightliner, Detroit Diesel, Mack Trucks and Volvo Trucks. Its transportation curriculum includes truck servicing. It also trains people for working in the railway and aerospace industries.

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