This story has been updated
SURREY — There’s exciting news for Simon Fraser University in Surrey’s city centre.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in town Tuesday (Nov. 8) to announce that the federal and provincial governments will pitch in a combined $90 million toward expanding SFU’s technology program, featuring a $126-million, monolithic five-storey building that will be built across from the city’s library. The remaining $36 million will come from private donors and SFU itself.
SCROLL DOWN TO SEE DRAWINGS OF THE BUILDING
The 15,000 square-metre building – one of the last designed by the late Bing Thom, celebrated architect – is to house Western Canada’s first energy systems and environmental engineering program, building on SFU scholars’ research into fuel cell technologies, big data analytics and alternative energy.
“Having a university of the magnitude of SFU is an important factor in the on-going growth and development of the Surrey City Centre area,” Mayor Linda Hepner said.
“The research focus of the new campus expansion, and SFU’s strengths in entrepreneurship, perfectly align with the City of Surrey’s priorities of being a leader in innovation, sustainability and clean technology.”
Surrey Board of Trade CEO Anita Huberman echoed Hepner’s enthusiasm.
“It was just a wonderful announcement,” Huberman said, noting her organization has been “advocating” for the SFU campus expansion for more than a decade.
Joanne Curry, SFU’s vice-president of external relations, said the university “has developed deep community partnerships.”
This is the first of three phases in SFU’s academic expansion plan in Surrey.
“Surrey has been SFU’s top priority for expansion and we hugely appreciate the government support,” SFU President Andrew Petter said.
To be located at University Drive and 102 Avenue, the building is expected to open in the spring of 2018. It will have a 400-seat lecture hall, and have space for 320 undergraduates and 120 graduate students.
It will also have administrative offices, engineering labs, classrooms and a grand atrium.