Frequently asked questions
1) Why did Memorial purchase the Battery property?
Facilities and buildings on Memorial's St. John's campus and the Marine Institute are fully occupied and the university currently leases significant space off-campus. The space at the Battery will allow the university to consolidate a number of units that would be appropriately housed closer to the city's downtown core.
2) What will be located at the Battery property?
The intention is for the Battery to be a resource to Memorial and the public. Planning is an ongoing process, but as of the purchase date, several Memorial units have been identified as likely tenants, including the Harris Centre, Genesis Centre, Gardiner Centre, and Office of Public Engagement. The Battery will also include residence space for Memorial graduate students.
Memorial also wants to hear your ideas for the Battery facility. The university is actively listening to ideas for programming and activities for the public engagement spaces at the facility and is interested to explore other potential partnership and development opportunities for the unallocated areas of the facility and site.
3) When will Memorial tenants move into the Battery property?
Graduate Students are currently living in the Graduate Accommodations. Major construction on the rest of the space is expected to conclude in the Spring/Summer of 2018.
4) Is the Battery Facility accepting event bookings?
At this point, the Battery is not accepting bookings for public events. If you have further questions, please contact us at email@example.com.
5) What is the impact of the Battery Facility on the university’s financial situation?
The Battery project has no impact on the university’s operating budget. Most of the money for the initial purchase of the Battery Facility came from Memorial’s endowment funds. These funds are managed to return yields to the university through investment. In this case, Memorial elected to invest $8.5 million of these funds in this piece of real estate, which has value of its own. The acquisition also helps address a number of operational needs of the university, including office and conference space (some of which is currently leased off campus), public engagement areas and graduate student housing.
The provincial cabinet and Board of Regents approved the university’s expenditure on both the purchase price of $9.5 million and $16.2 million for renovations. The $1 million remainder of the purchase price and the renovation funds were secured through an internal loan from the university’s cash flows. The projected investment yield and renovation costs will be returned to the university through lease avoidance and rental income over time. Once the funds are repaid, the facility will continue to generate revenue that will return to the university.
The Battery Facility has also successfully competed for $8.6 million in incremental funding through targeted federal/provincial programs to support increased convening space and the province-wide connectivity of the facility. In addition, a philanthropic donation of $1 million has also been contributed to Memorial for the Battery Facility.
Building and operations will be cost-neutral to the university. Funding will be provided from redirecting lease expenditures for off-campus space and revenue generated from university activities at the facility.
6) How can I ask other questions about the Battery?
If you'd like to ask a question about the Battery, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.