News Releases

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REF NO.: 194

SUBJECT: Academic extension officially opened at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University

DATE: May 25

Representatives of the federal and provincial governments were joined by officials from Memorial University today to officially open the Arts and Science Extension at the Grenfell Campus, Memorial University. 
The new extension adds academic, research, computer and meeting spaces to the campus infrastructure, including a new astronomical telescope and observatory. The $27.2-million extension to Grenfell Campus’ Arts and Sciences Building was funded by the federal and provincial governments. The Government of Canada contributed $7.975 million and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador contributed $19.2 million.
“We are thankful to our federal and provincial governments for their support of this much needed project,” said Dr. Gary Kachanoski, Memorial’s president and vice-chancellor. “As our plans continue to unfold to see Grenfell Campus grow, this new space becomes even more important.” 
The federal funding for the extension is part of the Knowledge Infrastructure Program, the $2-billion economic stimulus measure that supported infrastructure enhancement at Canadian post-secondary institutions.
"Our government has invested in innovation and knowledge infrastructure to set the foundation for economic prosperity,” said Peter Penashue, regional minister for Newfoundland and Labrador, minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, and president of the Queen’s Privy Council of Canada. “This project not only created jobs for people in the community but also provided the infrastructure that will benefit Memorial University for years to come.”
The provincial government’s $19.2-million investment in the Arts and Science Extension is provided by funding through its $5-billion, multi-year infrastructure strategy.
“The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador recognizes the critical role of modern infrastructure at Memorial University to propel our provincial prosperity,” said Joan Burke, minister of Advanced Education and Skills, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. “This facility will enhance students’ educational experiences, provide the largest research-quality telescope in Atlantic Canada, and help create opportunities to support the region’s long-term growth.”
The extension will be used by a variety of academic disciplines including chemistry, physics, earth science, biology and ecological economics. The expansion also provides faculty and staff offices, as well as dedicated study areas for students. Additionally, it contains small group meeting rooms that are of particular importance to the campus’ business program.
The centrepiece of the extension is a state-of-the-art $417,000 astronomical telescope, the largest in Atlantic Canada. The telescope houses a reflecting mirror with almost 10,000 times the light-gathering ability of the human eye. It will be used primarily as a research and teaching resource for physics and astronomy, and for community outreach programs.
The extension was constructed according to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards.

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Pamela Gill
Communications co-ordinator
Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland
University Drive
(709) 637-6200 ext. 6134
(709) 632-0936 (cell)
John Tompkins
Director of communications
Department of Advanced Education and Skills
709-729-0753 728-7762
Stephanie Thomas
Press secretary
Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear
Minister of State (Science and Technology)
Backgrounder – Arts and Science Extension
Memorial University of Newfoundland is grateful to the Government of Canada and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador for their contributions to this $27.2-million project. The federal funding of $7,975,000 is part of the Knowledge Infrastructure Program, a two-year, $2-billion economic stimulus measure designed to support infrastructure enhancement at Canadian post-secondary institutions, including universities and community colleges. The provincial funding, $19.2 million, is part of the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador’s $5-billion, multi-year infrastructure strategy. Construction began in June 2009.
Knowledge Infrastructure Program
The Knowledge Infrastructure Program is an important element of Canada's Economic Action Plan, announced in early 2009. The program provides up to $2 billion to support infrastructure enhancement at universities and colleges. Investments made through the program have generated economic benefits and supported job creation, and have enhanced research capacity, supported the attraction of new students and provided a better educational experience for the highly skilled workers of tomorrow.
LEED standards
Designed by the joint architectural firm of Hearn/Fougere, the extension was constructed according to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design
(LEED) standards. LEED is a performance rating system that considers such
factors as site planning, energy efficiency, water use, indoor environment and use of resources in its assessment of a building’s design. The Arts and Science Extension’s construction involved (among other elements):
-       Occupancy and daylight sensors for lighting
-       Use of products containing certified wood
-       Use of products containing recycled content
-       Use of products with low emissions
-       Optimized energy performance
-       Site erosion and sedimentation control
-       Minimize site disturbance
-       Minimize light pollution
-       Water efficient landscaping
-       Built-in storage and collection of recyclables
The extension also encourages sustainability practices through such features as showers for faculty, staff and students who choose to bike, walk or run to campus and a dedicated room for recycling.  
The Grenfell Observatory features a telescope designed and built byDFM Engineering in Colton, Calif., at a cost of approximately US $417,000. The telescope was installed toward the end of the construction phase. A separate foundation was been constructed for the observatory because of sensitivities associated with the telescope. The foundation is a 30-foot, reinforced concrete pier on which the observatory sits. More information about the telescope is available at .
About Memorial University of Newfoundland
Founded in 1925 as a memorial to Newfoundland’s war dead, Memorial University College was elevated to degree-granting status in 1949 as Memorial University of Newfoundland. Today, the university is the largest in Atlantic Canada, with about 18,000 students. Memorial provides excellent undergraduate, graduate and professional programs in virtually all disciplines.  With locations in St. John’s and Corner Brook in Newfoundland, Happy Valley-Goose Bay in Labrador, the French-owned island of Saint-Pierre and Harlow in England, Memorial is committed to experiential learning. The university’s many interdisciplinary programs abound with opportunities for experiential learning, ranging from on-campus employment to work terms around the world.
Outstanding research and scholarship, extraordinary teaching and a focus on community service are the university’s hallmarks. Many teaching and research activities reflect our mid-North Atlantic locations; these unique settings and our cultural heritage have led to the creation of highly-regarded academic programs and specialized facilities in areas such as music, linguistics, folklore and human genetics, as well as earth sciences, cold-ocean engineering, rural health care and archaeology. For more information about Memorial University of Newfoundland, please go to


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