University of Calgary

Calgary MLAs visit campus, learn about university’s future

UToday HomeJuly 5, 2012

It goes beyond engineering. Expansion and renovation of the Schulich School of Engineering complex is fundamentally important to fueling the innovation engine that is Calgary.

Hosted by Schulich School of Engineering Dean Guy Gendron, 15 provincial Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) from the City of Calgary visited the university on June 28 to learn more about how the institution serves the local community, how it contributes to securing Alberta’s economic future, and what plans are under development for the years to come.

The elected officials toured recently refurbished portions of the Schulich School of Engineering–where enhancements included converting many of the historic male-only washrooms to accommodate increasing numbers of female engineering students–and learned how the school hopes to improve the teaching, learning and research experiences for students through additional expansion and renovations to the 1960s-era facility. The University of Calgary has submitted a formal request to the Province of Alberta for funding that would allow this important work to proceed; it is currently under consideration.

“Expansion and renovation of the Schulich School of Engineering complex is our top capital priority at the University of Calgary,” President Elizabeth Cannon explained to the MLA delegation. “We need to upgrade our teaching and learning environment to ensure that Schulich remains one of the top engineering schools in Canada, delivering the highest quality graduates and research outcomes.”

The proposed expansion and renovation project would deliver 9,700 sq. metres of new teaching and research space, including advanced laboratories where future discoveries could enhance Alberta’s competitive edge, two new multi-purpose theatres, and flexible spaces that encourage teamwork and collaboration – all designed with a commitment to operational and academic sustainability.

Calgary-North West MLA Sandra Jansen, who also serves as chair of the government’s Calgary Caucus, was impressed with what she and her colleagues saw on their visit.

“It’s important for Calgary Caucus members to get out in the community to meet stakeholders so that they can hear first-hand about their needs,” she said. “Seeing the leadership of the University of Calgary so clearly excited about the future gets us excited, too.” Donna Kennedy-Glans, MLA for Calgary-Varsity, was proud to show her colleagues the university campus that sits within her constituency.

“It’s heartening for me to bring my colleagues to campus to see how the university spends our tax dollars wisely and with great impact,” she said. “My constituents would be proud to see everything that is happening at the university.”

The donor community is also extremely supportive of the university’s plans, with $41.5 million raised to date in the $60 million Engineering Leaders campaign, which is geared towards enhancing infrastructure, research, and student programs.