Ontario Construction News staff writer
The Government of Canada and Saint Mary’s University announced a joint investment of $20 million to support phase 2 of the Sobeys Inspiration Hub and the modernization of several campus buildings in Halifax.
“These investments will improve the working and learning environment of every member of the university community, enhancing knowledge sharing and collaboration among the leaders of tomorrow’s green economy,” said Dominic LeBlanc, minister of intergovernmental affairs, infrastructure and communities.
Work will include the addition of solar panels and integrated audio-visual communications technology to the Sobeys Inspiration Hub. The Hub, which is currently under construction, will support entrepreneurship and innovation at the University. Upgrades will enhance knowledge sharing and collaboration among users and reduce energy consumption. In addition, landscaping work around the building will beautify the campus.
When it opens, the $37 million capital investment will provide new learning spaces and foster innovative multidisciplinary work, bringing together SMU’s 6,600+ students, professors, and researchers from all the university’s faculties and the expansion will be a catalyst for superior interdisciplinary learning and applied research that will boost activity in entrepreneurship and data analytics for the benefit of our students and drive prosperity and resilience in our home province and region.
“Universities are at the forefront of producing and researching green energy. We are essential partners in the fight against climate change,” said Dr. Robert Summerby-Murray, president and vice chancellor of Saint Mary’s University.. I want to thank the Government of Canada for its investment in Saint Mary’s University’s initiatives to reduce our carbon footprint as we move towards net zero. We are leading Atlantic Canada in this space, and with this investment, we will continue to advance a greener community and campus.”
This investment will also fund interior and exterior renovations and energy efficiency enhancements to several campus spaces, notably the Loyola Building, the Homburg Centre for Health & Wellness, the Patrick Power Library, the Burke Theatre, and the McNally Theatre Auditorium. The installation of solar panels on some of these buildings will increase Saint Mary’s University’s capacity to generate clean energy by an estimated 230 per cent — from 0.2 Megawatts to 0.66 Megawatts.
The Government of Canada is investing $8 million in this project, and Saint Mary’s University is contributing $12 million.
“Today’s investment in core campus infrastructure at Saint Mary’s University will bring tangible benefits to students, the academic and business communities, and the broader public, providing them with safe and accessible community spaces to gather and learn. When we invest in post-secondary education institutions, we’re investing in the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators, benefitting all Canadians,” said Andy Fillmore, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry and MP for Halifax.