Science wing gets ‘XL’ makeover
New labs to foster research projects
Mount Royal University just got bigger.
The $25-million science and technology expansion in the B-Wing was formally unveiled on Nov. 9.
New science and technology dean Jeff Goldberg calls the expansion the “XL wing.” The 4,700-square-metre, three-floor addition includes many new classrooms, offices and learning spaces, along with several high-end research labs.
“I wish I had this kind of a facility when I was an undergrad student,” Goldberg said. “I can’t imagine better spaces, and I haven’t seen better spaces in all my teaching career.”
“Right from 8 o’clock in the morning on the first day of classes, students have found the new spaces and made it their home. It’s incredible,” he added. “The labs turned out brilliantly, and some of the courses planned for those labs are really impressive.”
Goldberg explained the labs were needed for MRU’s new four-year bachelor of science programs, including a new degree in environmental sciences. He added the new labs will allow third- and fourth-year students the chance to conduct research they need for future careers and graduate degrees.
While the new wing has been used since the summer, the event was a time to share the expanded facility with the community and thank those who made it possible.
Mount Royal president David Docherty thanked partners, including the federal and provincial governments and Encana, for their support of the university’s continued growth.
Calling the new wing “truly inspiring,” Docherty stressed the importance of research for degrees in all forms of science, which he said is recognized in the expansion.
“In providing those research opportunities, we’re also providing students with the critical-thinking skills and problem-solving skills that once they get out into the workforce they are able to tackle some of the larger issues we’re facing,” Docherty said.
As for the future of the science and technology facilities, there is another expansion on the horizon. Once long-awaited improvements to the university’s library get the green light from the provincial government, attention will likely turn to the next phase of science expansion. Part two is said to include a number of new labs for the sciences, nursing and social sciences programs.
“While we will have some research going on in our new labs, we’re expecting to have many more spaces in the future,” Goldberg said. “As a university, it’s important that we are really involved in the creation and dissemination of knowledge, so that’s the next step for us.”
Ultimately, the new wing is yet another step in MRU’s quest to become the premier undergraduate university in the country.
“It all comes down to how we change our operations now that we’ve changed what we are,” Goldberg said. “I’m ecstatic to see where we go from here.”