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Memorial’s state-of-the-art Core Science Facility has received $125 million in joint federal-provincial funding, an unprecedented level of support that will significantly advance Memorial’s teaching, learning and research capacity across multiple disciplines.

The announcement was made by Dwight Ball, premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, and Judy Foote, minister of Public Services and Procurement and member of parliament for Bonavista–Burin–Trinity, on behalf of Amarjeet Sohi, minister of Infrastructure and Communities. Dr. Gary Kachanoski, president and vice-chancellor of Memorial University, hosted the event.

“This state-of-the-art Core Science Facility will enable us to deliver on our commitment to the people of this province.” —President Kachanoski

“This funding highlights the federal government’s commitment to increasing Canada’s scientific excellence,” said Minister Foote. “The Government of Canada understands that research and innovation are essential to a competitive, thriving economy, as well as to developing the knowledge and tools required to build sustainable communities that meet the needs of Canadians for generations to come.”

Substantial investment

The total estimated global project budget is $325 million, with $99,855,277 coming from the Government of Canada through the New Building Canada Fund’s Provincial-Territorial Infrastructure Component–National and Regional Projects, and $25,144,723 coming from the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Memorial University will be responsible for the remaining project costs.

Federal, provincial and university partners at the funding announcement on June 23.
Federal, provincial and university partners at the funding announcement on June 23.
Photo: Chris Hammond

“Our government has been working diligently with the federal government to advance infrastructure projects for the province and I am very pleased that our federal colleagues have recognized Memorial University and the Core Science Facility as a project worthy of such a substantial investment,” said Premier Ball. “Infrastructure spending helps ensure economic development and prosperity for all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.”

The building is currently under construction on Memorial’s St. John’s campus and is on schedule for the planned opening in 2019.

“On behalf of the entire Memorial University community, I extend my sincere thanks to the federal and provincial governments for their incredible support for our university,” said President Kachanoski.

“This state-of-the-art Core Science Facility will enable us to deliver on our commitment to the people of this province to provide excellence in teaching and learning, research and public engagement. It will provide the best education for undergraduate and graduate students in a collaborative learning environment and allow Memorial to continue to produce and deliver research of national and international calibre.”

1/ Focus on integration

The facility was designed by HOK and Hearn/Fougere Architecture. The building has three pavilions: three tower blocks separated by two tall vertical atria spaces. The ground floor will be as transparent as possible with a large concourse on the north side serving as the main entrance lobby. The building will be connected to the University Centre.

Photo: HOK and Hearn/Fougere Architecture

2/ Blue whale at night

The skeleton of a blue whale will hang in the new building as an educational and cultural artifact. The whale was recovered from the west coast of the Island of Newfoundland and is being prepared for display with the support of the Royal Ontario Museum.

Photo: HOK and Hearn/Fougere Architecture

3/ Space to learn

Total gross floor area is 480,000 square feet: 156,000 square feet for research labs and 98,000 square feet for teaching labs. A further 148,000 square feet of shell space is available for research partnerships with private industry and 78,000 square feet for other teaching and support spaces, including faculty and student collaboration space.

Photo: HOK and Hearn/Fougere Architecture

4/ Room to collaborate

The research, teaching and outreach activities will be on display, while teaching and research labs will be in close proximity to both inform and support each other. It also focuses on integrating discrete research disciplines by providing facilities and common areas that encourage faculty and students from different disciplines to meet and work together.

Photo: HOK and Hearn/Fougere Architecture

5/ Public space abounds

The design will include a variety of public spaces for students and faculty to meet and collaborate, providing an opportunity for students to build relationships and experience peer-to-peer learning.

Photo: HOK and Hearn/Fougere Architecture

Integrated and inventive environment

Once complete, the new Core Science Facility will greatly contribute to creating a more contemporary and integrated learning and research environment that fosters inventive scientific thinking and practices. By allowing the university to advance new teaching and research mandates, the new infrastructure will also support student and faculty recruitment and retention initiatives.

The new facility will include new research and laboratory teaching spaces, an adaptable shell space for university and industry collaborations, offices and meeting rooms, and a series of open public spaces to encourage group discussion and academic partnership.

The research and teaching space will be occupied primarily by the Departments of Biochemistry, Biology and Chemistry in the Faculty of Science, and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. It will also promote inter- and multidisciplinary approaches to science, maximizing the flow of information and interaction among and within disciplines.

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