Mount Royal awarded $17M for infrastructure
Mount Royal has been awarded $17.25 million in provincial and federal funding aimed at improving the college’s infrastructure, most notably in the science and nursing departments.
The announcement comes as part of the two-year, $2-billion Knowledge Infrastructure Program announced as part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan. Overall $26.9 million in grants were announced, with Bow Valley College receiving $5.1 million and SAIT $4.1 million.
“We have been at this for a long time, all three of these institutions. I am finally delighted that the federal government has finally stepped up to the plate and joined their provincial colleagues, for a change, in really supporting Calgary colleges,” Calgary-Centre MP Lee Richardson told the audience at Ross Glen Hall. “We are fortunate in Calgary to have the post-secondary institutions we do. It really has been the hard work of many, including a number in this room that have made these world-class institutions.”
A significant portion of Mount Royal’s share will be put towards a three-floor expansion of the science & technology wing. The funding comes on the heels of a $100,000 donation by HSBC to the environmental sciences department.
To read more on HSBC’s donation click here.
As well, the Bachelor of Nursing degree will be on the receiving end of a brand-new simulation lab.
“We have to have the right facilities to make sure that our nurses are prepared appropriately,” said MRC President Dave Marshall. “ We went into the full nursing degree with parallel capitol projects to get those facilities in place. These are state-of-the-art facilities and they are very expensive; without the support of the government we would not be able to fund them.”
Marshall said the announcement is extremely important because it highlights the power of partnership, noting that two levels of government and three institutions all played integral roles in making the funding initiative a reality.
“Our target is the service of students. Our target is to provide the most outstanding baccalaureate degrees for our students to establish a national recognition of these degrees as being the best in the country,” he said.
Bow Valley College will use the funding to complete a massive expansion of its main campus, allowing the institution to double its capacity by 2012.
“The funding allows us to complete Floors 6 and 7 of our north campus on Sixth Avenue, providing us the opportunity to catch up with student demand in much-needed areas such as health care, human services and justice studies,” said Sharon Carry, Bow Valley president and CEO.
The $4.1 million going to SAIT will support the polytechnic’s Campus Infrastructure and Renewal Program.
The money will not be used for sexy stuff, but for much needed roof repairs, upgrades to our heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, with particular attention on SAIT’s campus centre,” said Wayne King, chief financial officer and vice-president, corporate services for SAIT. “This may not be front-page news but well-maintained buildings are of critical importance to the education of our students and to our community that uses the buildings.”
King said particular attention will be paid to the access building for SAIT’s C-Train station, in the hopes of furthering the institution’s goal to create “a living, breathing campus.”
Alberta Justice Minister and Calgary-Elbow MLA Alison Redford said Alberta’s education system plays an important role in preparing Canada for the future.
These institutions are ready to face challenges that we will be dealing with in the next two years but not just in a reactive way,” she said. “These institutions have given a great deal of thought about the short and the long-term about how they, as institutions, can work with the communities to build a stronger province.”
To read more about the Knowledge Infrastructure Program click here.