Representatives of the federal and provincial governments were joined by officials from Memorial University today to officially open the Arts and Science Extension at the Grenfell Campus, Memorial University.
The new extension adds academic, research, computer and meeting spaces to the campus infrastructure, including a new astronomical telescope and observatory. The $27.2-million extension to Grenfell Campus’ Arts and Sciences Building was funded by the federal and provincial governments. The Government of Canada contributed $7.975 million and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador contributed $19.2 million.
“We are thankful to our federal and provincial governments for their support of this much needed project,” said Dr. Gary Kachanoski, Memorial’s president and vice-chancellor. “As our plans continue to unfold to see Grenfell Campus grow, this new space becomes even more important.”
The federal funding for the extension is part of the Knowledge Infrastructure Program, the $2-billion economic stimulus measure that supported infrastructure enhancement at Canadian post-secondary institutions.
"Our government has invested in innovation and knowledge infrastructure to set the foundation for economic prosperity,” said Peter Penashue, regional minister for Newfoundland and Labrador, minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, and president of the Queen’s Privy Council of Canada. “This project not only created jobs for people in the community but also provided the infrastructure that will benefit Memorial University for years to come.”
The provincial government’s $19.2-million investment in the Arts and Science Extension is provided by funding through its $5-billion, multi-year infrastructure strategy.
“The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador recognizes the critical role of modern infrastructure at Memorial University to propel our provincial prosperity,” said Joan Burke, minister of Advanced Education and Skills, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. “This facility will enhance students’ educational experiences, provide the largest research-quality telescope in Atlantic Canada, and help create opportunities to support the region’s long-term growth.”
The extension will be used by a variety of academic disciplines including chemistry, physics, earth science, biology and ecological economics. The expansion also provides faculty and staff offices, as well as dedicated study areas for students. Additionally, it contains small group meeting rooms that are of particular importance to the campus’ business program.
The centrepiece of the extension is a state-of-the-art $417,000 astronomical telescope, the largest in Atlantic Canada. The telescope houses a reflecting mirror with almost 10,000 times the light-gathering ability of the human eye. It will be used primarily as a research and teaching resource for physics and astronomy, and for community outreach programs.
The extension was constructed according to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards.