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Red River College is buying the land where it trains students in aviation and aeronautics.

RRC announced today, with an $8-million loan from the province, it is purchasing the land on which its Stevenson campus sits, on Saskatchewan Avenue.

RRC president Paul Vogt says aerospace and aviation is one of the most robust sectors of the college.

"We're in for the long haul, and we can now make investments in this facility. We're no longer tenants. Because we own it, we can adjust it to both our current needs and also our future needs," says Vogt.

Vogt says the province's loan has enabled the college to make the long-term mortgage commitment.

"It's actually cheaper for us, even on an annual basis, to carry the mortgage (and) pay off the interest in principal than it is to be a lease holder. It actually is a better financial deal for us," says Vogt.

RRC had been leasing the land from Hubert Kleysen. The hangar at the Stevenson campus is now known as the Hubert Kleysen Hangar. Hubert's son Tom Kleysen says a scholarship was also announced today.

"As I understand it, essentially, funds will be provided on an annual basis for a student or students (so) they can pursue their education, and, as most scholarships I'm sure, the criteria... (as it's) developed, will be for those students who might not otherwise be able to participate in that education process," says Tom Kleysen.

Kleysen says his father wanted to give back to the community, and says this sale is one way to do so, along with setting up a scholarship fund.

RRC says its Stevenson Aviation Campus offers diploma programs for aircraft maintenance engineers, aerospace manufacturing technicians, and gas turbine engine repair, training 400 students in these programs each year. The campus also offers specialized training for people already working in the industry, to help them meet certification requirements and upgrade their skills.

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