Finishes are applied, painting is underway and PCL Construction has made incredible progress on the building interior. Take a look inside with this Fall 2018 photo gallery.
The look and scope of scientific discovery are set to be transformed in the fall of 2019 as the University of Lethbridge opens the new science and academic building. One of the most advanced facilities for teaching and researching the sciences in the country, the new addition to the Lethbridge campus is the largest construction project to take place since University Hall was completed in 1971. Sustainably designed with local climate in mind, students, faculty and community will come together under one roof to create, inquire and discover.
Now more than 50 per cent complete, the science and academic building has been under construction for nearly two action-packed years. The buzz of excitement in the campus community is building with every construction milestone achieved.
“Every time I have an opportunity to take a tour on the site, I’m astounded with the progress being made,” says Provost and Vice-President (Academic) Dr. Andy Hakin. “We can now see some of the large design elements starting to take shape. From the atrium staircase to the glass curtain wall on the exterior of the building, it’s exciting to see our project come to life. This building will be of enormous benefit to so many aspects of our University life and to the extended community.”
A home for innovation and discovery, one of the major design principles was to encourage and foster research between the sciences. The open and flexible laboratory environments allow this to become a reality. Professor and Associate Chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy Dr. Dan Furgason says with this new way of working and learning, the opportunities for transdisciplinary collaborations and ideas will flourish and give students and faculty innovative ways to problem solve with more resources available than ever before.
“During my 30-plus years with the University, I have witnessed several changes and improvements in teaching and research,” says Furgason. “Students have always played an integral role in scientific research at the U of L and that role has been an important facet in student education. Over the years, the students have changed, the research environment has changed and now the facilities are about to change. It is truly exciting to contemplate the possibilities moving forward into the new building. As we build the culture to complement the new environment, I am certain students, researchers and the community at large will experience new and engaging modes of learning and investigation.”
It’s not just U of L students who will benefit from this leading centre for science and academics; students of all ages will join them in discovery. Elementary and high school students from around southern Alberta will have a home for innovation. Science outreach programs are expanding in a dedicated learning facility aimed at igniting the spark of science in the researchers of tomorrow.
Community outreach programs like Destination Exploration and Let’s Talk Science enable southern Alberta to develop individuals who are creative and innovative discoverers, leaders and independent learners, who are well prepared to contribute significantly to their local, national and global communities, right here at home.
“When children experience science in a new way, you open the door for a whole new world of discovery and excitement for them,” says Director of Youth Outreach Valerie Archibald. “With the dedicated outreach space in the new science and academic building, we can run more programming throughout the year that enables more children to participate in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.”
As the new science and academic building grows, so too do the economic benefits to southern Alberta. With more than 350 workers currently on-site and that number expected to climb between 450 and 500 during peak construction periods, the project has not only brought jobs to the area but a welcome economic injection for local businesses. Additionally, the building, once operational, will contribute significantly to the overall impact the University of Lethbridge has on the city and region.
Associate Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Science and academic program manager, Dr. Matthew Letts, tours the new Science & Academic Building giving insight to the building for staff and faculty.
There’s been lots of work completed and progress made on the new Science and Academic Building since we last toured the site in the summer. Now more than 50 per cent completed, the project is really starting to take shape. You may have noticed the glass exterior being installed in the link between University Hall and the new building or the pedestrian bridge being placed, but did you know the last structural concrete pour has been completed? Here are a few fun facts about some of the materials and quantities used to date on site:
- poured 23,820 m3 of concrete
- 3.94 miles of electrical cords on site
- 66.2 miles length of lumber used
- 3,400 shoring posts
- 343,400 screws used
Join University of Lethbridge Project Manager, Gene Lublinkhof and PCL Construction Management Ltd. Senior Superintendent, Daryl Campbell, as they tour the site and highlight some of the spaces and progress completed to date.
Bob Baunton is a structural engineer who helped to shape the University of Lethbridge campus in Lethbridge. Bob was involved in almost all major building developments from University Hall to the Max Bell Aquatic Centre. Bob was recently back on campus to tour the new science and academic building and took a few moments to chat with University Archivist, Mike Perry, about his time working on campus and working with Arthur Erickson.
Take a sneak-peek inside the new science and academic building construction site! Gene Lublinkhof, Project Manager at the U of L, introduces us to two areas of importance in the building with PCL Construction Management senior superintendent, Daryl Campbell. In this video, you’ll see the construction to-date on the link between University Hall and the new science and academic building, along with the pedestrian bridge area between the main floor of the building and upper campus.
June 23, 2017 marks the one-year anniversary of the official sod turning of the Destination Project! So much progress has been made over the past 12 months. The new science and academic building is taking shape and transforming the campus landscape before our eyes.
Watch just how far we’ve come in one year in this time-lapse video of the site with footage taken over the entire time of the build, from the grading work in May 2016 to the structural work you see now. Pretty remarkable.
As the University of Lethbridge celebrates its 50th year, one long-time supporter continues to show strong commitment to the institution.
PCL Construction Management Ltd. may be a new name on campus to some, but the company is no stranger to the University. The international construction giant is responsible for building the very first building on campus, the iconic University Hall. PCL was the contractor who brought Canadian architect Dr. Arthur Erickson’s (LLD ’81) design to life and it seemed fitting they continue to help shape the campus landscape by building the next frontier for the U of L.
“We’re thrilled to be helping the University of Lethbridge grow and expand with the construction of the new science and academic building,” says PCL senior project manager, Paul Walker. “The Destination Project is a truly unique building, both in design and purpose and given our history with the campus, it’s quite special to be working with the University again.”
PCL has also thrown its support behind several university fundraising initiatives. Development Director, Barry Knapp says the contribution to the U of L has been remarkable.
“PCL has come on-board as a major sponsor for the annual Calgary dinner, they’ve given support to Pronghorn Athletics and signed on to be a VIP tent host at the Shine On Music Festival event in September,” says Knapp.
PCL’s contribution to the University and surrounding communities was also highlighted during the holidays when PCL staff and contractors adopted local families who were struggling to make ends meet. Students also benefitted from the sizeable donation PCL made to the University of Lethbridge Students’ Union food bank.
“PCL aims to build strong community relationships with the cities where we work and so our ongoing financial support to the University helps us to give back and continue to foster those relationships,” says Walker.
As the Destination Project approaches the one-year anniversary of the start of construction, the relationship between the University and PCL clearly continues to prosper.
The University of Lethbridge was given a glimpse into the near future recently thanks to Stantec Architecture.
University President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Mike Mahon accepted a framed rendering of the new science and academic building from Stantec Architecture on the University’s behalf, along with Vice-Provost and VP Academic, Dr. Andrew Hakin and VP Finance and Administration, Nancy Walker (BMgt ’82). The rendering of the Destination Project will hang in the University’s offices and is an exciting reminder of the world-class facility that is currently under construction on campus.
The future hub of science in southern Alberta has already created buzz near and far with its sustainable design and focus on fostering collaboration between faculties, regardless of discipline. The Destination Project is scheduled to open for classes in the fall of 2019.