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Tender awarded

Construction to begin on Animal Resource Centre


By Sandy Woolfrey-Fahey

Memorial University has awarded the contract for construction of the Animal Resource Centre (ARC), a research and teaching facility. Olympic Construction was the successful bidder.

Olympic is a local company from St. John’s that was also involved in construction of the Janeway and, more recently, the Faculty of Medicine’s teaching and genetic research building.

Architectural drawing of the Animal Resource Centre
Architectural drawing of the Animal Resource Centre, which is anticipated to be substantially complete by the end of 2019 and to open in 2020.
Photo: Submitted

Work on the facility will begin this month with the facility substantially complete by the end of 2019 for an anticipated opening in 2020.

“Memorial’s researchers have contributed to many recent discoveries, including those related to retinal disease and blindness, infectious diseases, neonatal nutrition and cancer,” said President Gary Kachanoski.

“ARC’s state-of-the-art facilities will support these areas as well as other medical and graduate research, including psychology, biology and biochemistry and the development of highly qualified professional medical residents and graduate students skilled in emergency, trauma and surgical procedures.”

Approval granted

The tender award has cleared all the approval stages, including the Board of Regents and the provincial government. The approved contract is for $23.5 million before taxes.

ARC’s construction has been high on Memorial’s infrastructure priorities and is a much-needed replacement for two of the university’s current animal research care facilities. The new facility is critical to ensure Memorial sustains viable biomedical research activities and the certification of degree programs at Memorial.

“As a multidisciplinary and research intensive medical school, the Faculty of Medicine strives to have a national and international impact,” said Dr. Margaret Steele, dean, Faculty of Medicine. “This infrastructure will provide our scholars the environment to conduct research and it will place Memorial at a world-class competitive level.”


In addition to the new Animal Resource Centre providing modern facilities and equipment, it also offers the benefits of co-location of health sciences and biomedical science researchers to enhance research excellence, interdisciplinary and inter-sectorial collaboration, and innovation.

“This will be a core facility for research and teaching faculty and students in medicine, science, pharmacy and nursing,” said Dr. Jennifer Keyte, director, Animal Care Services and university veterinarian.

“Benefits from the ARC will flow to people and animals. Thanks to the support from all levels, including the university community, the federal and provincial governments, this centralized facility will enable the continuation of excellence in research and teaching, and provide further possibilities for collaborations. We’re very grateful for the support we’ve received.”

Federal support

The global project budget is $35.6 million. The Government of Canada, through its Strategic Investment Fund, is providing support of $14.4 million. Memorial will fund the remaining costs of $21.2 million internally.

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