Memorial welcomes province's support for new core sciences facilities
The provincial government announcement on Oct. 11 of significant funding support for development of new core sciences infrastructure at Memorial University has been welcomed by the institution's president and vice-chancellor, Dr. Gary Kachanoski.
"We are absolutely thrilled that the provincial government has decided to move forward with this critically important initiative at Memorial," said Dr. Kachanoski. "State-of-the-art core sciences facilities at Memorial will enable us to deliver on our aspirations to be a world leader in ocean sciences and other disciplines, and to re-configure a number of other faculties. With this funding Memorial can continue its ascendency as one of the best universities in Canada and a top-quality, 21st-century teaching and learning environment."
Dr. Kachanoski indicated that funding in the last provincial budget enabled planning to begin on the development of core sciences facilities, but he described the announcement today as a "game-changer."
"We commenced the planning, but when we could actually commence a project was uncertain," he said. "This announcement provides us with certainty that the funding will be there. This is great news for our faculty and students."
In addition to high-end facilities for the Faculty of Science, the core sciences infrastructure plan includes additional growth for the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science.
"A purpose-built modern facility will enable the university to recruit and retain faculty and students, and increase the size of our research program many fold," said Dr. Kachanoski.
Dr. Mark Abrahams, dean, Faculty of Science, echoed the reaction.
"If we want to continue to attract talented students, faculty and staff, we must offer appropriate and competitive facilities and infrastructure that will ensure their success," he said. "A significant outcome of this initiative will be the educational opportunities for the young people of this province. Ultimately, the new facilities will create a comprehensive complex that will promote inter- and multi-disciplinary approaches to science."
Dr. Greg Naterer, dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, was also delighted with the announcement.
"This will enable us to build on engineering's reputation of excellence in education and research," he said. "We are facing a major space shortage. Growing the faculty's space capacity will allow us to better generate new knowledge, expand engineering enrolment and support research activities in a direct response to provincial priorities."
The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador announced Oct. 11 that it will receive $150 million in 2016 as part of a settlement to resolve a dispute concerning in-province fabrication of a third module for the Hebron Project. The government indicated that the compensatory funding will be used for strategic investments in the province's education and healthcare systems, including funding the development of new core sciences facilities at Memorial University. The government is estimating that the construction of the new core sciences facilities at Memorial will create nearly 1,440 direct and indirect person years of employment, and approximately $94 million in labour income.