Simon Fraser University (SFU) has received a combined $90 million from the provincial and federal governments to help fund the construction of a new Environmental Engineering and Energy Systems Building in Surrey City Centre.
Both levels of government have invested $45 million each with the remainder of the $126 million university expansion funded by SFU and private donors, with donors contributing $26 million and SFU contributing the land valued at $10 million.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Christy Clark made the announcement Tuesday morning at the SFU Surrey campus.
The five-storey, 15,000-square-meter building will be constructed across the street from the City Centre Library in the 10200 block of University Boulevard and will house the new degree programs in Environmental Engineering, an interdisciplinary engineering stream that will support growing clean tech research and will help in the expansion and commercialization of the clean energy research and will work with both the City of Surrey and other public and private sector partners.
Currently the SFU Surrey campus houses 350,000-square-feet of classroom, lab and office space.
The new building will have space for 320 undergraduate and 120 graduate students in the Mechatronics program as well as the Technology Entrepreneurship@SFU program.
The first two levels of the building are scheduled to be completed by mid-2018 and will house he environmental engineering labs, classrooms and innovative workspaces.
This is the first phase of a three-phase academic expansion plan developed for SFU Surrey.
Speaking to cheering students and faculty on the mezzanine at the Surrey Campus, Trudeau praised the clean energy and environmental research already being done at the University.
“Canada has the opportunity to become a world leader when it comes to research and innovation,” said Trudeau. “This investment, this institution and many others are what’s going to help us get there.”
The funding will also allow the university to expand research into the hydrogen, electricity and liquified natural gas sectors, and build on the universities current fuel cell and alternate energy research, helping graduates gain valuable skills and employment opportunities.
“When we create jobs we have a job to do and that means that British Columbians have the skills they need to take those jobs….in areas like technology” said Clark. “The new energy systems engineering building at SFU will help ensure British Columbians are first in line for those jobs, while driving innovation, prosperity and job creation throughout our province.”
The federal funding for this project is being provided through the Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund which supports the Government of Canada’s climate change objectives by encouraging sustainable and green infrastructure.