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Home About SAIT News & Events Celebrating $21 million for campus upgrades

Celebrating $21 million for campus upgrades

Days ahead of its big centennial celebration, SAIT received a generous birthday present from the federal government's Post Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund which will shape student success well into our second century.

The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Canada's Minister of Science, announced funding of $20.7 million for upgrades to the John Ware building, the Senator Burns building and the Green Building Technologies Lab and Demonstration Centre.

Alberta's Minister of Advanced Education, the Honourable Marlin Schmidt, welcomed the investment and the estimated 270 construction jobs it will create.

"These projects will generate significant returns - putting people to work, benefitting the environment, and advancing innovative research that will turn new business ideas into reality," says Dr. David Ross, SAIT President and CEO. "Today's funding announcement is a great way to kick start our second century."

  • Upgrade the John Ware building (exterior and interior). In addition to cosmetic improvements, the work will allow the School of Hospitality and Tourism to consolidate classes, making learning more efficient and effective for students.
  • The Senator Burns building will have its electrical capacity revamped. This will make the building more energy efficient and save on utility costs.
  • The Green Building Technologies Lab and Demonstration Centre will install new equipment to boost the capacity of the facility to showcase cost-effective green-building solutions.

The expansion of the Green Building Technologies centre - a 10,000 square foot facility that will open on main campus in the new year - will build on existing research successes. The green building team's achievements include advancing net-zero energy home construction in partnership with local developers, accelerating the application of solar technologies to reduce electricity use and devising a self-sufficient off-grid, environmentally-innovative portable washroom. (Check out the Applied Research and Innovation Services - ARIS - blog for more information.)

"Encouraging scientific awareness in Alberta and across Canada depends on supporting our world-class scientists and researchers," says Minister Duncan. "Investments like this can help make our country one of the world's leading nations in the development and use of clean and sustainable technologies and processes, while also creating well-paying jobs for Canadians. Through the Strategic Investment Fund, we are helping to strengthen the foundation for scientific excellence in Canada."

Dr. Ross says the construction projects are "shovel ready" and can be quickly implemented. Some of the work in Senator Burns has already begun.

"Good jobs begin with a good education, which is why it's critical that we support our colleges, universities and technical training institutes. These key infrastructure investments ensure Albertans have access to state-of-the-art learning and training facilities, while addressing the need to create jobs and diversify our economy," says Minister Schmidt.

Construction schedule and impacts

The work, which will be managed by Facilities Management, is expected to occur in stages:

  • Work in Senator Burns will primarily be done after hours, with little disruption to staff or students as most of the upgrades will be done to mechanical and electrical systems located behind the scenes. This work should be completed by the end of April 2018.
  • The John Ware construction will include relocating the schools of Information and Communications Technologies and Hospitality and Tourism. A late April 2018 completion date is expected. 
  • The new Green Building Technologies Lab and Demonstration Centre is expected to open in early 2017.