Campus Life

Alberta Government providing $20 million to upgrade the U of L’s heating and cooling centre

The provincial government announced on Thursday, June 9 that it will provide $20 million to upgrade the U of L’s heating and cooling plant located in University Hall.

University Hall opened in 1971 and the upgrade is critical to the continuing operation of the U of L. Student residences, academic spaces and research labs will all benefit from a more efficient and functional system.

“The University of Lethbridge is one of the top research universities of its kind, and it’s also a strong pillar of the regional economy,” says Demetrios Nicolaides, Minister of Advanced Education. “This funding will not only guarantee a high-quality campus experience for years to come, it will also help many Albertans in the Lethbridge area find gainful employment and provide for their families.”

Funding for the U of L project is part of an additional $98-million commitment to post-secondary institutions for accelerated capital maintenance and renewal, which is expected to create about 533 full-time jobs around the province. In the Lethbridge area, the project is expected to create about 112 jobs.

“The investment in a new energy centre at the University of Lethbridge not only creates immediate employment, but will lower our carbon footprint and provide ongoing operational savings through energy efficiency,” says Mike Mahon, president and vice-chancellor. “The new plant and supporting infrastructure will reliably meet the heating and cooling requirements for approximately 80 per cent of our campus buildings.”

Advanced Education worked with post-secondary institutions to identify projects, with a focus on addressing existing maintenance issues, ensuring compliance with building codes and regulations, increasing access to services, and reducing operational costs. Government also prioritized projects that will help create jobs, and are ready for work to begin. The U of L project is part of more than $10 billion in infrastructure spending announced as part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan.

“Our government is working to make smart and responsible investments,” says Nathan Neudorf, MLA for Lethbridge-East. “This new capital maintenance funding for the University of Lethbridge – funding that has been deferred for over a decade – is a welcome influx of capital to Lethbridge. This is spending that will benefit students, help control the cost of future maintenance to the university, and will also help the community by ensuring that well-calculated and focused projects are creating jobs right here in Lethbridge.”

View the government news release online.