Millions granted to U of C

By Chris Beauchamp

Advanced Education Minister David Hancock was on campus this week to announce millions in new capital funding for the University of Calgary.

The $25.3 million announcement includes $16 million for the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and $4 million toward planning the Campus Calgary Digital Library, the Institute for Sustainable Energy, Environment and Economy, the Urban Campus and a new Experiential Learning Centre.

“These capital dollars will allow the U of C to move ahead with a number of exciting new initiatives,” said Hancock following the Wed., Sept. 21 announcement. “An important signal with respect to moving the veterinary faculty ahead is the planning money.”

Hancock noted the veterinary program is still at the planning stage in a number of areas, but plans include expansion of the Life Sciences Research Station. The faculty’s focus will be zoonotic medicine, with emphasis on the integration of human and animal disease research and prevention.

Hancock emphasized the potential of the Campus Calgary Digital Library for students.

“The Digital Library is going to be a huge opportunity to transfer knowledge resources all over the province through the SuperNet,” said Hancock. “But it’s not going to be easy. We’re talking a signifi- cant investment and it will take time.”

The SuperNet initiative aims at bringing broadband internet infrastructure to all areas of the province, including access by telecommunications companies, the education system and health care databases.

Plans for the Digital Library are being coordinated with Mount Royal College, the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, Bow Valley College, the Alberta College of Art and Design and the Calgary Health Region. The $113 million project includes a new building to be built next to the MacKimmie Library complex and Digital Library access at the Urban Campus.

The construction of the Digital Library and Experiential Learning Centre will create 3,500 new student spaces by freeing up existing space. Further, the Urban Campus and expansion of ISEEE will create an estimated 2,500 spaces.

The remaining $5.3 million in capital investment is slated for building upgrades and maintenance not covered by the U of C’s regular maintenance allocations. Plans include work on the Earth Sciences Building, the Biological Sciences Building, the Health Research Innovation Centre and replacing the Bow River Pump Station.

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