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Dalhousie University announces transformational $64M investment for its downtown campus

By On-Site Magazine   

Construction Infrastructure Dalhousie University Halifax IDEA project innovation

Logo : Dalhousie University (CNW Group/Dalhousie University)

Dalhousie University has announced the IDEA Project (Innovation and Design in Engineering and Architecture Project) – a transformational $64M investment to Dalhousie’s Engineering and Architecture campus in the heart of Halifax’s emerging innovation district. Thanks to the generous support of the Government of Canada, private donors, students and industry, the IDEA project will reinvent Dal’s downtown campus. It will add advanced technology and design labs, state-of-the-art engineering facilities, and modern teaching and learning spaces to Dalhousie’s Sexton campus, and introduce cutting-edge incubation space to better link students and faculty to industry and entrepreneurs.

The IDEA project will play a vital role in fostering Canadian innovation and economic growth. It is located in the heart of a dynamic and growing innovation cluster alongside the world-renowned Halifax Central Library, local technology startups, Halifax’s downtown business district and nearby research hospitals.

On September 30th, Minister Scott Brison, president of the Treasury Board, announced a generous $32-million investment through the Government of Canada’s Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund to support the IDEA Project.


“Investments like these in Atlantic Canada will support our world-class researchers and position Canada as a global leader in research excellence and innovation,” says Minister Brison. “Through the Strategic Investment Fund, we are providing Canada’s students with the education and training they need to join a strong, healthy middle class.”

Dalhousie’s downtown campus is the home of Atlantic Canada’s only school of Architecture and its largest and fastest-growing Engineering program. IDEA will elevate design-oriented technical education and research to a global standard. With program reach into StFX, Acadia, SMU, CBU and UPEI, the campus will be a hotbed for innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship and a catalyst for Atlantic Canadian prosperity.

“I would like to thank our donors, industry partners, the students of Dalhousie and the Government of Canada for their generous support,” says Dalhousie president Richard Florizone. “This investment will help us strengthen our downtown campus and ultimately inspire the next generation of highly-skilled, innovative young professionals. IDEA will set a new standard in engineering, architecture and planning education, elevating design-oriented technical education and research in Halifax to the global stage.”

IDEA is powered by partnerships and philanthropy. Dalhousie launched the public phase of the $64 million IDEA Project Campaign, which includes the generous $32 million investment from the Government of Canada as well as donations from students, industry and donors. The university is pleased to acknowledge the leadership and generous support of Marjorie Lindsay, Honorary Campaign Chair, who has contributed $1 million to the IDEA project. The university will now draw on the support of alumni, donors and industry partners in the final effort to complete the campaign goal.

“I’m passionate about the importance this project to education at Dalhousie and to our continued prosperity,” says Lindsay. “I’ve seen first-hand the tremendous impact that the engineering school has had. Its graduates are community and business leaders who help drive progress and economic development, here in Halifax and across the country.”

With the investment, two new academic buildings will be added to campus. The “Innovation Building” will feature five state-of-the-art, student-centred workshops and dedicated space to support both student entrepreneurship and external startups and industry. The “Design Building” will include a 450-seat auditorium and four new design studios for Architecture and Planning students. IDEA also involves significant investments in R&D infrastructure renewal, including research and outreach hubs in clean tech, oceans tech and advanced manufacturing. The campus will also see significant sustainability enhancements to improve efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support student and faculty research.

Construction is set to get underway this fall with a targeted completion date for the new buildings of spring 2018.



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