The Core Science Facility, scheduled for completion in 2019, will provide modern research and laboratory teaching spaces primarily for the Faculty of Science and the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science.
The project budget is $325 million. Memorial will contribute $25 million from the Memorial University Matching Fund and borrow $175 million. The Government of Canada, through its New Building Canada Fund, is providing support of $99.9 million with the remaining $25.1 million being provided from the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador through its Hebron project settlement.
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.
The research and teaching space will be occupied primarily by the Departments of Biochemistry, Biology and Chemistry in the Faculty of Science, the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science and labs from the Core Research Equipment and Instrument Training (CREAIT) Network. The building will also contain Technical Services’ Cryogenics Facility, the Faculty of Science’s Central Stores Facility and an Aquatics Facility that is part of Memorial University’s Animal Care Facilities.
The Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science has begun implementation of a strategy for growth in undergraduate, graduate and research activities, planning to double faculty enrolment by 2020 and add 500 more students. Moving the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering into the new building will allow for the expansion of those programs and create space in the S.J. Carew (Engineering) Building for expansion of the four other departments—mechanical engineering, civil engineering, process engineering and ocean and naval architectural engineering.
The physical structure of the building focuses on integration. It integrates the research, teaching and outreach functions of the building by displaying the university’s work and instrumentation in public areas, and placing teaching and research labs in close proximity so that 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.
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.
The skeleton of a blue whale will hang in the new building as a teaching and learning opportunity for students, staff and visitors. 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.