New U of A centre bigger than ours

By Stephanie Shewchuk

The University of Alberta has responded to the growing number of students pursuing science majors with a brand new building on campus, the Centennial Centre for Interdisciplinary Science.

In order to accommodate growth, the new centre will provide 1,200 more spaces for undergraduate students and 478 more spaces for graduate students studying science. A total of 57 new faculty members will also be added.

In comparison, the U of C currently hosts 6,000 students in the faculty of science, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

The U of A announced the development of the new facility at the end of March, asserting that it hopes to inject fresh perspectives into research and teaching through its creation.

Though the CCIS isn’t slated to open until 2010, the Alberta government has already committed $285 million over the next three years towards its construction. I total, the project will cost an estimated $315 million and will be 52,227 square meters.

U of A president Dr. Indira Samarasekera warmly received the announcement.

“This commitment clearly demonstrates the province’s vision and leadership in innovation, learning and access to post-secondary education,” she said. “The CCIS is a state-of-the-art facility that will enhance our research reputation and foster interdisciplinary collaboration. It is a brilliant and visionary investment by Albertans in the future of science and knowledge.”

The new building will replace two older science facilities that are no longer functional and will become the flagship of the faculty of science. Construction is expected to begin as early as June 2006.

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