The University of Lethbridge has chosen a design option for a new Science and Academic Building as part of the University’s Destination Project.
The Hub, a concept that creates a vibrant core in the heart of the building where paths between laboratory blocks and the general campus intersect, was recently approved by the U of L’s Board of Governors from three proposed massing options shared with the community earlier this fall.
“This is a significant milestone in our process and to see our planning efforts beginning to take form is extremely exciting,” says University of Lethbridge President and Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Mike Mahon. “This new building will move our institution forward in a transformational way and provide significant opportunities for students, faculty, staff and the southern Alberta community.”
KPMB/Stantec Architects and the Destination Project Steering Committee developed three massing options before presenting them to the community in early September.
Over the course of developing the three design options, five project charter goals for the Science and Academic Building were considered. They included: Connection to Campus & Community; Enable Transdisciplinary Learning and Research; Provide a Supportive Environment; Incorporate Sustainable Design; and Create Signature Architecture.
“Selecting between the options that were presented to us by KPMB/Stantec Architects was difficult, but The Hub concept best incorporated goals of the project charter identified by the Destination Project Steering Committee,” says Provost and Vice-President (Academic) Dr. Andrew Hakin. “The design encourages interaction and collaboration between faculty, students and the community, while the building respects the wonderful coulee landscape presented by the Oldman River valley and our campus.”
Community feedback forums were held over the past month before the Destination Project Steering Committee made a final recommendation to the Board of Governors.
“To reach this stage of the planning process is exciting and a little daunting,” adds Hakin. “It’s exciting because we have a broad concept in The Hub from which to work. The daunting part is now before us, where we will make the key decisions as to how the interior of the building will take shape. These decisions will define how we can achieve our primary objectives and create a world-class facility that will engage our faculty, students and the community for generations to come.”
The new Academic and Science Building will serve as a catalyst in attracting leading faculty and high-achieving students to the U of L’s already outstanding academic and research programs. Further, new science facilities will allow instructors to more easily incorporate modern teaching methodologies into evolving curriculums.
The new building aims to enhance and support entrepreneurship through the training of students in leading edge teaching and research laboratories and will provide high quality space to foster industry collaboration and potentially the development of new companies. It will also contain a state-of-the-art, highly sustainable energy centre that will serve the entire U of L campus.
The Government of Alberta has invested $12.5 million towards the planning process of the Destination Project, and in December 2013, announced a $200-million commitment towards construction.
For more information about the project, visit the Destination Project website.