author: derek cameron | former news writer
College ave. and lab building to receive more money
The University of Regina received $30 million from the federal government to work on two infrastructure projects, College Avenue Campus and the Laboratory Building. The bulk of the funding, $27.6 million, will go to the College Avenue campus project, with the remaining $2.4 million will go to the laboratory building.
Dave Button, vice president administrative of the University, says the College Avenue campus will go toward a variety of projects there including “code upgrades, the installation of air conditioning, and the building of an elevator to increase accessibility.” The elevator will be located at the back of the tower.
Another partner on the College Avenue campus project is Conexus, who will be provide $8.25 million in donations, infrastructure, and cost avoidance. Conexus will centralize several of its offices into a building to be built immediately beside Darke Hall. The Conexus building will include an elevator to provide accessibility to Darke Hall, and an atrium for Darke Hall.
“I’m very excited by the proposal submitted by Conexus Credit Union,” said University of Regina president and vice-chancellor, Dr. Vianne Timmons. “As a member-based cooperative, Conexus has deep roots in Saskatchewan and is a natural partner for the University of Regina. Conexus shares our community values and understands the historic, educational, and cultural importance of saving College Avenue campus.”
“Our proposal would bring key Conexus staff together at one location to increase efficiency and foster the kind of collaboration that cultivates growth for our members,” said Eric Dillon, chief executive officer, Conexus Credit Union. “Partnering with the University to help renew College Avenue campus enables us to serve the needs of our members while also fulfilling their expectation that we continue our tradition of giving back to the community.”
Button also stressed that the College Avenue campus does service the needs of learners of all ages.
“We have 8,000 learners at College Avenue; its not just empty space.”
Part of the project relies on donations. The goal set by the University is to raise $10 million. They have currently raised $7 million.
“Sometimes people are hesitant to donate before partners and funding have been announced, so it’s great to be able to say that we have federal funding as well as other partners.”
Those who wish to donate can do so on the University’s website by searching ‘UR giving.’
The funding toward the laboratory building will go toward code upgrades, including the installation of sprinklers, upgrades to fume hoods, and increasing the energy efficiency of the building. According to the project notes, the upgrades will reduce carbon emissions by 1,500 tonnes.
Currently, only about “one-eighth of the building has sprinklers,” according to Button. “We had a fire a couple of years ago in the lab building and fortunately it was in the area that had sprinklers.”
Button hopes that the upgrades will increase the safety of students and researchers using the Lab building.
Infrastructure in other areas of the school is also being addressed. Button says that progress has been made in several notable areas.
“Both the roofs in the language institute and the classroom building have been replaced. There’s always going to be more work to do, but we’re getting a lot done.”