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$49.4M reno for BC university science centre; shellfish research centre for Vancouver Island


Burnaby, BC – The federal and provincial governments are providing $49.4 million to renovate the chemistry building in the Shrum Science Centre at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, providing state-of-the-art facilities.

This funding is part of the federal government’s two-year, $2-billion plan to repair and expand research and educational facilities at Canadian post-secondary institutions. In BC, the federal government is providing up to 50% of the cost of selected projects on a cost-share basis with the province.

Work to restore and renew the aging chemistry labs in the Shrum Science Centre is slated to begin by June 1, and will support the government’s climate action initiative by aiming for gold certification under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program.

The building houses the departments of chemistry, biological sciences, physics, earth sciences, kinesiology, mathematics and statistics and actuarial science. The $49.4 million from the provincial and federal government will greatly improve classrooms and labs and extend the life of the building.

“This renewal project will address pressing deferred maintenance problems in the university’s original chemistry labs.” said Michael Stevenson, president and vice-chancellor of SFU. “It will enable SFU to maximize its potential to generate new knowledge and train the next generation of researchers in areas of key importance to Canada’s Science and Technology strategy. We are grateful to the federal and provincial governments for their investment in the innovation pipeline.”

In a related announcement, funding of $8.5 million from the federal and provincial governments and Vancouver Island University will help fund a new shellfish research station for Vancouver Island University.

The funding announcement will allow Vancouver Island University to start the $8.5-million project, for which the university has already raised $4.3 million. Construction is expected to begin May 1, 2009.

These are two of 29 projects at post-secondary institutions across the province that will break ground quickly thanks to a joint federal-provincial funding of $433 million. The total funding in these projects is $455 million including contributions from institutions.