News Releases

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REF NO.: 69

SUBJECT: Redevelopment of Memorial University’s Battery Facility continues

DATE: March 24

Redevelopment continues at Memorial University’s Battery Facility with the upcoming release of tenders for more construction work.

The construction packages include a variety of elements, including the demolition of the city/pool wing (the oldest section of the building, closest to Signal Hill Road) and some interior spaces in the main building, and the subsequent redevelopment of the main building. All construction is expected to conclude by the winter of 2017.

This work is the next step in Memorial’s longterm goal of developing the facility into a multi-use public engagement and innovation space that will benefit both the university and organizations across the province, while also addressing some of Memorial’s pressing space needs.

Decisions about the renovations and further uses of the site have been guided by the results of Memorial’s ongoing consultations, including a provincewide process during the spring of 2014, and by the work of a planning group, including community stakeholders, Memorial units and architects. The building will be cost-neutral to the university and is being developed by Memorial as a revenue-generating entity that will recover all costs related to its operation. The approved capital deferred maintenance budget of $16.2 million will be complemented with additional funding from external partners to be announced soon. The development of this facility will ultimately result in a significant reduction of lease costs for Memorial units currently renting space off-campus.

Earlier renovations at the Battery Facility established new graduate student accommodations. Several floors of studio-type rooms are occupied by student residents. Regular transportation between the facility and campus locations is now available, a development influenced by student feedback. The next phase of construction will focus on developing other types of space including university and partner offices, and public engagement areas.

“While our overall vision for the Battery Facility is quite clear, we also believe that this is a learning process that must be informed by our stakeholders” explained Dr. Rob Greenwood, executive director Public Engagement. “The Battery Facility is intended for use by a broad range of people, both inside and outside the university, and we’re very committed to engaging potential users during the planning process, but also as more and more aspects of the plan are put into place.”

The Battery Facility will become home for a number of Memorial’s public-facing units, including Memorial’s award-winning business incubator organization, the Genesis Centre, and the Gardiner Centre, which provides training to thousands of clients per year. In addition, the Leslie Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development and Memorial’s Office of Public Engagement will help establish the Battery Facility as a provincial and national leader in economic and social innovation, entrepreneurship and commercialization.

“Combining the talents and expertise of these units with more than 80 graduate students with an expressed interest in public engagement and innovation living in the accommodations there, and contributions through the planned conference space, this promises to be an international beacon for innovators, researchers and community leaders of all kinds,” Dr. Greenwood said.

Further updates on the Battery Facility redevelopment project will be available at www.mun.ca/battery as they become available.

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For further information, please contact Rebecca Cohoe, communications co-ordinator, Office of Public Engagement, Memorial University, at (709) 864-3739 or rcohoe@mun.ca

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