$2.3 Million in Planning Funds for New Science Building at University of Lethbridge

Advanced Education and Technology Minister Greg Weadick surprises a U of L audience with $2.3 million in planning funds for a new science building at the University of Lethbridge

Coming on the heels of a $5.6 million announcement for facility upgrades, Advanced Education and Technology Minister Greg Weadick's surprise announcement on Sept. 16 that the University of Lethbridge will receive $2.3 million to start the development process for a long-awaited science complex was, according to Dr. Mike Mahon, the U of L's President, a great way to start the weekend.

"A new science building has been something that has been needed for many, many years," Mahon said. "Science is a foundational program within our University, and to have $2.3 million to begin the process of looking at what this building can do for the University community is truly exciting."

The proposed building has been on the U of L's facility development list for several years, and would allow for a significant expansion to laboratories and classroom spaces, as well as the ability to use the vacated spaces in University Hall for other purposes.

The existing facilities date from 1971 and even with upgrades to meet current safety standards, cannot be expanded or significantly altered.

Mahon said the new building would also open up a host of opportunities across the campus.

"This announcement is not just about how the sciences on campus will benefit. It is about how we can use this opportunity to envision the future of the U of L from an academic perspective. For example, we are looking forward to examining how the social sciences and humanities programs can benefit from the re-development of University Hall to suit their purposes, among other benefits."

The proposed building would be located on the upper level of campus, near Markin Hall and on the site of the former track and field space.

The $2.3 million allows for site selection refinement, space planning (labs and classrooms in the new building as well as preliminary planning to re-develop space in University Hall) and other related functions, such as an increase in utility capacity, to move the building process forward.

At this time there is no date set to begin construction.