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e-dition - Nov. 17, 2006

Hartley Richardson, President & CEO of James Richardson & Sons, Limited; UWinnipeg President Lloyd Axworthy; and, Premier Gary Doer at the announcement of the Province of Manitoba's up to $25-million investment in UWinnipeg's new science complex.

UWinnipeg's new Science Complex:
Provincial Funding Vote of Confidence

By Brenda Suderman

The investment of up to $25 million of provincial funds to The University of Winnipeg's capital campaign-that will make possible the construction of a new science complex-is a huge vote of confidence for UWinnipeg and the city, Premier Gary Doer said Thursday.

“The announcement today is all about downtown Winnipeg and The University of Winnipeg together, growing not dying,” Doer told a packed audience in Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall during the November 16, 2006 news conference.

"We are very thankful for this investment in the future of The University of Winnipeg by the province of Manitoba," said University of Winnipeg President and Vice-Chancellor Lloyd Axworthy. "This generouos support will help to make the University's new science complex and the Richardson College for the Environment a reality. It will become a centre for cutting-edge innovation and research in emerging areas of science and environmental studies. And it will serve as a catalyst for substantial urban renewal in inner-city Winnipeg."

The money from the province paves the way for the construction of a new environmentally friendly, state-of-the-art science complex on the north side of Portage Avenue between Furby and Langside streets. Linked to the main campus by a green corridor, the complex will include biology and chemistry labs, faculty offices, and a separate building for the Richardson College for the Environment. Construction is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2007.

Two months ago, the Richardson Family, Firm and Foundation gave UWinnipeg $3.5 million to establish the College.

Doer also announced the province would provide up to $15 million in additional support in a matching fundraising campaign. For every two dollars raised by the university during the next three years, the province will contribute one dollar.

Sustainable Building Design

The new science complex, which has an estimated price tag of $30 million, will be constructed to meet or exceed the gold standard of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating system, said prime architecht Terry Cristall, principal of Number Ten Architectural Group.

The conceptual floor plan includes sustainable features such as a large atrium rising to the full height of the building, grey water collection for flushing toilets, the collection of wind power and solar energy to run the building, locally-produced and sourced materials to reduce energy costs in shipping and an innovative and creative design.

“The university is not only constructing a science building. It’s taking a major leadership role in sustainable design,” Cristall said.

Living Laboratory

Recent UWinnipeg science grad Vivian Belik applauded the move of putting theory into practice, saying the new science complex will be a living laboratory for students and professors and the entire community.

“Rather than just talking about environmental sustainability and social sustainability, the university will be able to say it is practicing it,” Belik said.

The new science complex will replace decades-old labs with flexible, current facilities to accommodate both teaching and research, said Dean of Science Gabor Kunstatter.

“This will enable us to further enhance our strengths not just in biology and chemistry, but also in a variety of interdisciplinary programs focused on environment, health and sustainability," he said.

The November 16 announcement also means The University of Winnipeg Foundation will be shifting into high gear to raise funds from business, alumni and the community, said Susan Thompson, President and CEO of  The University of Winnipeg Foundation.

"The University of Winnipeg Foundation is thankful for this tremendous gift from the Province," she said. "This $10-million gift towards building our new science complex is a great boost to the University and is a tremendous lead gift to our capital campaign. The Province is creating a wonderful legacy that will benefit our entire community and have an impact for generations to come."

< Back to e-dition November 17, 2006 - Volume 24 Number 8