Gateway Gazette

Government Supports U of L Destination Project

An increased and accelerated investment of $125 million in Budget 2016 means the University of Lethbridge can begin construction immediately on the Destination Project.

(artist concept)
(artist concept)

The project includes construction of a 36,000-square-metre science and academic building, giving students access to leading-edge labs and programming. The University of Lethbridge is facing higher demand and the new building will increase capacity in science programs by 450 students. Government has committed $248 million to the Destination Project over the next five years. The new science and academic building is expected to open for faculty and students in the fall of 2019.

“This is an investment in our province’s future. The Destination Project will not only provide access to world-class programming and learning opportunities for students, but will also help encourage growth and economic diversification in southern Alberta by capitalizing on the research and innovation taking place at the University of Lethbridge.”

Marlin Schmidt, Minister of Advanced Education

The Destination Project’s innovative construction plans include flexible lab spaces, dedicated space to bring ideas to reality, science displays, classrooms and meeting rooms, and gathering areas that will meet the needs of students, staff, industry and the community today and in the future.

The new building will also support business development and commercialization activities at the university and will be a science centre for southern Alberta.

“The Destination Project will create a state-of-the-art learning experience for students and will provide the necessary space for the University of Lethbridge’s leading researchers. The positive economic and social impact of this infrastructure on the communities we serve cannot be overstated. This new space will enhance innovation through partnerships with industry and increase community engagement by making science accessible to southern Albertans.”

Mike Mahon, PhD, President, University of Lethbridge

Between 70 and 100 workers are currently on the Destination Project construction site. That number will rise to between 300 and 400 within a year. The construction will generate an estimated $462 million in economic spinoff.

In Budget 2016, government delivered on its commitment to stable and predictable funding for post-secondary education by maintaining the two-year tuition freeze for students as well as increasing base operating grants by two per cent and backfilling funding for the tuition freeze for institutions.

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