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$40 Million Investment for UBCO Library Expansion

$40.65-million investment at UBC Okanagan will create jobs, support research and foster innovation.

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Canadians will be better equipped for the well-paying middle-class jobs of today and tomorrow as a result of a $40.65-million investment in the new Teaching and Learning Centre and a number of sustainability and infrastructure upgrades at the UBC Okanagan campus.

This joint federal-provincial investment was announced today by Stephen Fuhr, MP for Kelowna-Lake Country, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and by Norm Letnick, Minister of Agriculture and MLA for Kelowna-Lake Country, on behalf of Andrew Wilkinson, Minister of Advanced Education for the Province of British Columbia.

The Government of Canada’s Innovation Agenda aims to make this country a global centre for innovation—one that creates jobs, drives growth across all industries and improves the lives of all Canadians. This investment at UBC Okanagan is a prime example of that vision in action.

“This investment in the development of UBC’s Okanagan campus is testament to the power of partnerships between governments, post-secondary and students,” said Santa Ono, UBC president and vice-chancellor. “I look forward to seeing the many great things that will come from the work undertaken by UBC students and researchers in these new and enhanced facilities.”

This $40.65 million will support two separate projects.

A product of the expansion and renewal of the campus library, the Teaching and Learning Centre will enhance the student learning and research experience as well as enable innovative research and partnerships with industry. The updated facility will include a digital technology centre and a visualization lab to facilitate high resolution data modelling in research fields such as advanced manufacturing, materials science and sustainability.

The cost of the Teaching and Learning Centre expansion and renewal is $35 million with $14.56 million from the Government of Canada, $10.62 million from the Province of British Columbia and $9.82 million from the university, thanks to an investment by the UBC Okanagan student body.

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Funding will also support Environmental Sustainability Projects for Research Infrastructure, which will focus on sustainability upgrades to 11 Okanagan campus buildings. Included in this project is the provision of services and utilities at the UBC Innovation Precinct, which will facilitate university/industry co-location at the Okanagan campus and new economic activity in the region.

The total cost of the upgrades is $5.65 million with $1.41 million from the Government of Canada, $719,000 from the Province of British Columbia and $3.52 million from the university.

“These investments will create well-paying jobs that can help the middle class grow and prosper today, while also delivering sustained economic growth for years to come," said Fuhr. "By investing in a world-class institution like UBC Okanagan through the Strategic Investment Fund, we are strengthening the foundation for building Canada into a global centre for innovation.”

The funding from the Government of Canada is being allocated through the Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund, which will enhance and modernize research facilities on Canadian campuses and improve the environmental sustainability of these facilities.

As a result of these investments, students, professors and researchers will work in state-of-the-art facilities that advance the country’s best research. They will collaborate in specially designed spaces that support lifelong learning and skills training. They will work in close proximity with partners to turn discoveries into products or services. In the process, they will train for - and invent - the high-value jobs of the future. Their discoveries will plant the seeds for the next generation of innovators.

That is how the Strategic Investment Fund will jump-start a circle of innovation, creating the right conditions for long-term growth that will yield benefits for generations to come.

Both projects are projected to be complete in April 2018 and will create an estimated 137 direct and 103 indirect jobs.

UBC Okanagan opened in Kelowna in 2005 and currently enrols more than 8,600 students annually in undergraduate and graduate programs in eight faculties and schools.

Nearly one million job openings are expected in B.C. over the next decade, and eight out of 10 of these openings will require post-secondary education. In-demand occupations requiring post-secondary education or training range from professional to management to trades.

Quick Facts:

  • The Government of Canada is contributing $14.56 million and the Province of British Columbia is providing $10.62 million toward the $35 million cost of the Teaching and Learning Centre. The UBC Okanagan student body is contributing $9.82 million toward the project.
  • The Government of Canada is contributing $1.41 million and the Province of British Columbia is providing $719,000 toward the $5.65 million cost of the sustainability and infrastructure upgrades.
  • The university, in partnership with the Okanagan campus student body, will contribute a total of $13.34 million for both the Teaching and Learning Centre and the Environmental Sustainability Projects for Research Infrastructure.
  • The Government of Canada’s Innovation Agenda is designed to ensure Canada is globally competitive in promoting research, translating ideas into new products and services, accelerating business growth and propelling entrepreneurs from the start-up phase to international success.
  • The targeted, short-term investments under the Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund will promote economic activity across Canada and help Canada’s universities and colleges develop highly skilled workers, act as engines of discovery, and collaborate on innovations that help Canadian companies compete and grow internationally.
  • The Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund supports the Government of Canada’s climate change objectives by encouraging sustainable and green infrastructure projects.