Weingarten shows off his public relations skills to members of the press at the Calgary Chamber of Commerce.
the Gauntlet

Urban campus... eventually

Downtown project to make U of C a Canadian leader

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Watch out University of Toronto and University of British Columbia. The University of Calgary plans to meet and then surpass other top-ranked public universities within the next 40 years.

U of C President Dr. Harvey Weingarten spoke to members of the business community at the Calgary Chamber of Commerce Tue., May 9 to stress the U of C will become a leader amongst public post-secondary institutions by adhering to three core values.

"Successful universities in the future will be those that are thoroughly enmeshed with their communities, are student focused, and are socially responsive and progressive," said Weingarten.

Weingarten made a commitment to the value of community involvement by reaffirming his support for a downtown campus.

The urban campus project was first announced in February 2004. To date, the project has yet to secure funding, which is estimated at $205 million. The university plans to build the urban campus in the downtown area known as East Village, but the exact location is yet to be determined, and a design is not complete.

Despite these setbacks, recent City of Calgary legislation has Weingarten optimistic the project will move forward.

"Yesterday, we took another giant step forward when the City of Calgary unanimously passed a resolution directing administration to begin discussions with the partners to identify and secure the location of the lands for the downtown campus," said Weingarten.

Weingarten asserted that despite slow progress on the urban campus project, the U of C is committed to begin construction within the next two years.

"We've been planning this urban campus for over two years now-it will happen, we are committed to it," said Weingarten. "If we're going to serve the community we need to do it. It also adds a lot of strength to the revitalization of

East Village."

The urban campus is a partnership project between the U of C, the Calgary Board of Education, Athabasca University, Bow Valley College, SAIT and the University of Lethbridge. It will include both shared and institution-specific spaces.