An artist rendering of the new building at Ashtonbee Campus, currently under construction. The facility will be situated on Ashtonbee Rd. at Hakimi Ave. in Scarborough.

Construction underway at Centennial College’s Ashtonbee Campus

Ceremonial shovels struck dirt marking the official beginning of construction at Centennial College’s Ashtonbee campus, in Scarborough.

The process officially began April 2012, with backhoes and dump trucks all over the site.

Ashtonbee is Centennial’s oldest existing campus, dating back to 1972. It is located near Eglinton Avenue and Warden Avenue and is home to the School of Transportation, as well as a variety of programs in community services and English-language training.

Alan McClelland, the dean of the School of Transportation welcomed the project.

“We’ve got an old building that’s functional and serves its purpose,” McClelland said. “But this will allow people to get the same impression to match the quality that’s in our labs and classrooms.”

The renovation includes a new “trestle-inspired building” that will house a library and expanded recreational facilities. Registration and student services will be centralized near the new front door. The existing building will also get a facelift with the addition of windows in east facing rooms.

Centennial president Ann Buller was excited about the groundbreaking ceremony.

“I believed in my heart that this campus and community was worthy of the type of transformation that we have seen at other sites,” she said. “This renovation is a testament to our community pulling together to ensure that all Centennial students have access to great learning environments.”

The college’s student association donated $4 million to kick start the project. President Jay Patel said the board was happy to help.

“Ashtonbee needed this overhaul,” he said. “It just makes sense since Centennial has renovated at the other campuses. The students here deserved a new space with new facilities.”

Centennial College includes two other Scarborough campuses. The main campus is situated on Progress Avenue along the 401 and the engineering and science schools are located at Morningside Avenue. and Ellesmere Road.