Carey Prokop has been the Chief Project Officer for the Great Northern Way Campus Project since fall 2014. With just weeks until we move en masse to the new campus, we are taking the opportunity to talk to Carey who has been instrumental in ensuring the project reaches completion as planned and on schedule.
How did you become involved with the GNWC project?
I have been involved in a number of P3 Projects, working for both the private sector and with Partnerships BC, including the Canada Line Rapid Transit Project, the South Fraser Perimeter Road Project and the Iqaluit Airport Improvement Project. When Emily Carr University was looking for a replacement CPO, I was approached by Partnerships BC. After learning more about the project and meeting the ECUAD Executive team, it became obvious to me that this was an exciting project that I would love to be a part of.
For those who don’t know, what is a P3 Project?
P3 or PPP is an abbreviation for Public, Private Partnership. It is a contract structure whereby a public entity enters into a single contract with a private partner to deliver multiple components of a project. In the case of the Emily Carr New Campus Replacement Project, the public entity (Emily Carr University of Art and Design) has entered into an agreement with Applied Arts Partners (a consortium of private companies that includes Brookfield Financial, Ellis Don, Fengate Capital, Diamond Schmitt Architects, Chernoff Thompson Architects and Johnson Controls) to finance, design, construct, operate and maintain the new campus for 30 years.
How does our project compare with other large-scale projects on which you’ve worked?
I have also worked with the private sector or advised the government on the Sierra Yoyo Design Road Project (P3), the Kicking Horse Canyon Road Project, and the Site C Clean Energy Project. Although our project has a smaller capital value than most of the other PPP projects I have been involved in, as the first purpose built Arts and Design University delivered under a PPP contract structure, it has been no less complex, nor less challenging.
Can you share a bit about the Project's progress?
The Project is on track to be completed by the design-builder and to achieve Service Commencement (a PPP term used to mean that the facility is now being used by the University for its intended purpose and the design and construction phase of the project is complete and the operations phase of the project has commenced) on August 4th, 2017. This will give us just over a month to get used to our new environment ahead of classes beginning.
What is your personal highlight from the Project?
My personal highlight is definitely centered on the community of Emily Carr. From the executive, to the faculty and staff and right down to the project team that I have had the good fortune of working very closely with on a daily basis. This is an extremely passionate community that only wants the best for their students. I hope that the end design of the campus has been able to respond to this passion and that the objective of ‘students at the centre’ has found its way into the facility.