Building boom underway
TORONTO – After years of working with old research facilities, inadequate lecture space and too few residence rooms, Canadian universities are in the midst of a building boom.
The Globe & Mail reports that the biggest projects are in Ontario, where increased government funding for the double cohort in 2003 is helping universities expand. At York University in Toronto, a five-year construction program will increase its building size by 48 per cent. A significant jump in enrolment, from 6,500 to 10,000 students, at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo has necessitated construction that includes an $11.5-million science research building and a $15.1-million academic building. It opened two residences worth $39 million in 2002.
The largest construction project at any Canadian university can be found at the University of Toronto, which is spending $800 million on 37 projects to expand its St. George, Mississauga and Scarborough campuses.
Large alumni donations have also helped. A $105-million gift to McMaster University by Michael G. DeGroote will be used to finish a centre for learning and discovery named in his honour, a centre for pain research and care and a pediatric intensive care unit.
On the west coast, the University of Victoria has opened a $9.6-million continuing studies building and is constructing a $12-million medical sciences centre and a $22-million engineering and computer science building.
On the east coast, Mt. Saint Vincent University in Halifax has embarked on a 12-year, $45-million expansion.