By Arielle Follett
Students in the hairstyling, esthetics, and massage therapy programs were welcomed back to school this fall with a brand new spa-style classroom, built over the summer in the A-building.
The new facilities will allow students hands-on, in-class experience in a realistic environment.
For hairstyling and esthetics students, this is the first time in many years that their programs have been taught on the main campus, the main motivation behind the renovation. These programs were previously taught in the basement of Confederation College, further down Woodroffe Avenue.
“The students are happier and find that their learning is more conducive to a pleasant experience (in the new facilities),” said Altaf Sovani, chair of the School of Hospitality and Tourism. “Algonquin College and the School of Hospitality and Tourism are already best in class. This facility and the programs will put us even further ahead of the competition.”
The spa is just the first step in School of Health and Community Studies dean Barbara Foulds and recently retired School of Hospitality and Tourism dean Michel Savard dream for a Healthy Living Education initiative. The initiative will ultimately have the two schools working very closely together in a localized section of the college.
“We’ve been looking at drawings for so long now, to see it all come to fruition is just delightful. We’re all so excited,” said Foulds.
“It will be great for students, staff and the outside community,” Savard agreed.
Phil Rouble, associate director of facilities planning and sustainability, was impressed by how smoothly the process went.
“It was hugely challenging. There were a lot of surprises and additional requirements but ultimately our construction teams were fantastic and we met our deadline,” he said. “Everyone was very cooperative and understood the magnitude of the challenge.
“The best part of it all is the first week and seeing all the smiles on the students’ faces.”
The new dean of the School of Hospitality and Tourism, Jim Kyte, is very impressed with the facilities as well.
“We should have the most manicured and stylish students, faculty and staff of any postsecondary institution in Canada.”