Gateway Gazette

Funding University of Alberta Restoration Projects

Government is giving the University of Alberta an additional $16 million this year to help restore research and learning spaces.

Funding is provided for two projects in Edmonton: $8 million to renew and replace mechanical and electrical systems in the Brain and Aging Research Building, and another $8 million to install a new piping system to heat and cool the Tory Building.

Both projects are ready to start and will create about 90 full-time jobs in Edmonton. Funding for the University of Alberta 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.

This work will extend the life cycle of both buildings and ensure post-secondary students and staff continue to have high-quality campus experiences. It will also give dozens of Albertans consistent, well-paying jobs – a key government priority under Alberta’s Recovery Plan.

“Our government is committed to developing world-class post-secondary institutions and today’s announcement of an additional $16 million will help us meet students’ evolving needs, give researchers new and better spaces to further their work, and make sure our campuses stay safe and welcoming places. This is part of over $90 million in total that will be provided to our institutions to modernize critical infrastructure and create jobs, as part of our economic recovery plan.”Demetrios Nicolaides, Minister of Advanced Education

“Alberta’s Recovery Plan focuses on infrastructure as a critical component for supporting economic growth and jobs for Albertans. This includes investing in shovel-ready projects to upgrade and maintain public facilities, like this post-secondary institution, that help keep Albertans working and stimulate local economies where it matters most.”Prasad Panda, Minister of Infrastructure

“Thanks to this generous funding from the Government of Alberta, we can maintain two key areas of teaching, learning, and research on north campus. The upgrades and additions to the Brain and Aging Research Building will enhance one of our state-of-the-art facilities and help continue to facilitate groundbreaking scientific research for the benefit of all Albertans.”Bill Flanagan, president and vice-chancellor, University of Alberta

Planned upgrades in the Brain and Aging Research Building will support research labs throughout the building’s four floors, while also freeing up more research space on the upper floor. The Tory Building first opened in 1966, and many of its internal parts are original, so a new heating and cooling system will help avoid more costly maintenance in the future.

Budget 2020 already includes $118.5 million for capital maintenance and renewal at colleges, universities and polytechnics. In April, the Alberta government announced it was accelerating the capital plan and increasing capital maintenance and renewal spending in 2020-21 to almost $2 billion. 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 University of Alberta project is part of the more than $10 billion infrastructure spending announced as part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan. This spending includes: $6.9 billion Budget 2020 capital spending, $980 million accelerated for Capital Maintenance and Renewal, $150 million for Strategic Transportation Infrastructure Program and water infrastructure projects, $600 million in strategic infrastructure projects, $500 million in municipal infrastructure and $1.5 billion for Keystone XL.

Alberta’s government is helping create thousands of good jobs for Albertans by building schools, roads and other core infrastructure that benefits Albertans and communities. It will further diversify our economy by helping sectors grow and succeed and returns investment to our province by ensuring we have the most competitive tax environment in Canada.

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