WINNIPEG, MB – Manitoba Premier Gary Doer and James Richardson & Sons, Limited President & Chief Executive Officer Hartley Richardson, along with University of Winnipeg President & Vice-Chancellor Lloyd Axworthy and A World of Opportunity Capital Campaign Chair R.M. (Bob) Kozminski, today officially began construction of the Richardson College for the Environment and Science Complex with a sod-turning ceremony. Today’s event marks another major step towards establishing UWinnipeg’s new Furby-Langside campus on Portage Avenue, where construction is already underway on the McFeetors Hall: Great-West Life Student Residence.
“The Richardson College for the Environment and Science Complex is a prime example of effective partnerships with government and the private sector that benefit our students, our community and the province as a whole,” said Axworthy. “This new complex will not only provide innovative new science and environmental facilities for UWinnipeg students, faculty and researchers. It will enable us to develop leaders who will become effective global stewards, and contribute to the development of practical solutions to today’s complex environmental issues.”
Model Green Building
The Richardson College for the Environment and Science Complex is a first step in an innovative plan to enhance science education and research at UWinnipeg. The building will provide much-needed new classrooms, laboratories and offices for the Faculty of Science, especially the Biology, Chemistry and Environmental Studies departments. The College will be a cutting-edge centre, engaging students and faculty in innovative research in natural and social sciences with a focus on the North, climate change, water stewardship and indigenous science education. The building itself will also be a model for green building technology and will be constructed to a minimum LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver Standard with a goal of achieving a maximum of energy efficiency.
Expected Completion in Late 2010
The first phase of construction on the Complex begins within days with excavation and shoring work taking place through the winter months. Work on the complex’s exterior and interior is planned to begin in early 2009, subject to approval by the University’s Board of Regents, with expected completion in late 2010. This project will employ approximately 560 people during the next two years.
Largest Private Donation
The Richardson College for the Environment and Science Complex was initiated two years ago, on Sept. 12, 2006, with the generous donation of $3 million from the Richardson Firm, Family and Foundation. One of the largest private donations to The University of Winnipeg to date, the Richardson gift establishes a College for the Environment that will foster environmental and sciences studies international in scope with an interactive community educational focus. Furthermore, after learning of the support from the Province and the impressive plans to revitalize this community, the Richardson Foundation provided an additional $500,000 gift toward the development of the urban greenspace surrounding the College along with a green corridor connecting the main University campus with the Furby-Langside site.
Two months later, the Province of Manitoba helped make the Complex a reality with its own historic donation of $25 million to the University’s A World of Opportunity Capital Campaign. Announced by Premier Doer on Nov. 16, 2006, it was the largest public donation ever to UWinnipeg. The Province has since provided $7 million in additional support for University laboratories, especially for vivarium and greenhouse facilities in the new complex, and upgrades to existing labs. These major gifts have since leveraged more than $5 million in additional fundraising from private donors for the project, with other interested prospects to come.
“This state-of-the-art complex will be widely recognized for its leading-edge environmental design and will complement the new Manitoba Hydro building as a symbol of innovation in downtown Winnipeg,” Premier Doer said. “The new science complex will offer our students first-class learning and research opportunities in a first-class setting.”
For more information go to Richardson College for the Environment & Science Complex Backgrounder.