Posted on January 4, 2013 by Tia Lalani

Dean Allen Berger sits down to discuss 2012 at Augustana.

By Mark Crown, Camrose Canadian

Looking back on the year that was is a little bit different for University of Alberta, Augustana Campus dean Allen Berger.

“It’s a little bit different for us in academia to think in terms of calendar years,” he said. “We always think in terms of academic years. Everything begins in September and it ends in the spring, then we spend the summer getting ready for the next academic year.”

With that being said though Berger couldn’t help but reflect on some of the major accomplishments of 2012 for Augustana.

“For us some of the highlights would include continued growth in enrollment,” he said. “We’ve been on a steady upward slope that last several years and during 2012 we got approval from the university for a plan that will take us to 1,200 students over the next five years.”

The new growth will bring with it a demand on future space needs and Berger said the campus hopes to increase it’s classroom and teaching space’s by 50 per cent over the next few years.

“The Camrose Performing Arts Centre has been a dream in Camrose for a long time and it was one of my greatest pleasures to be able to work together with the mayor and city council to bring those negotiations to conclusion and finally get this project started,” Berger said, adding he hoped that next year’s year in review would included CPAC being on schedule for completion.

Along with the major infrastructure and growth changes at Augustana Berger also highlighted the accomplishments of the athletic department.

“Obviously we don’t want to leave out a hockey championship in 2012,” he said. “I had the good fortune of being there and literally standing right behind the goal when the final goal was scored in double overtime. That was just a fantastic event, it brought our community together in ways that will continue to have an impact and it contributed to a level of school spirit that I think many people around here found very gratifying.”

Looking forward to 2013 Berger said Augustana has big plans for the original building, Founders Hall.

“It is the building to which our alumni most have important emotional ties. We need to secure that building for the next 100 years,” he said. “So that is our intent, it’s a $4 million project that will begin this summer. We got the planning underway this past year and now we will undertake the project over the next two years.”

The project will modernize the building, while maintaining it’s originality and culture.

“This will involve an effort to retain the architectural character of the building while at the same time we will replace all of the siding with a more sustainable product,” he said. “Replace windows, doors, add handicap accessibility and redesign the interior to create more usable and comfortable spaces.”

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One response to Augustana’s Dean reflects on the past year

  • Kevin said:
    Jan 15, 2013 at 1:33 AM

    Nice post!