Construction of Atlantic Science Enterprise Centre underway
By Adam FreillConstruction Institutional
World-class research centre will promote science excellence, environmental leadership and support local communities.
Construction activity has started for the Atlantic Science Enterprise Centre (ASEC) in Moncton, N.B. A ceremonial ground-breaking ceremony and sign unveiling was held in late July for the first phase of a three-phase planned build aimed at providing federal scientists with world-class, innovative and collaborative facilities to pursue leading-edge scientific research.
“Under the Laboratories Canada strategy, the Government of Canada is strengthening federal science infrastructure across the country,” stated Helena Jaczek, Minister of Public Services and Procurement. “Today’s ceremony marks the first visible step towards building a state-of-the-art research facility in Atlantic Canada that will empower and enhance scientific communities by providing them with modern facilities and tools to conduct world-class research.”
“By bringing scientists from different fields and organizations all under one roof, the Atlantic Science Enterprise Centre will transform the way research is done on one of Atlantic Canada’s most important and complex ecosystems – the Atlantic Ocean,” added Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities. “So many people in our region rely on the continued health of the Atlantic Ocean to earn their living, and the research that will take place here will be crucial to gaining a better understanding of the impact climate change is having on it. I am thrilled to see construction get underway on this project.”
The Atlantic Science Enterprise Centre is being built in three phases to allow for the continued use of the existing building during construction. The site preparation work is currently underway as part of the first phase. The construction of the new science wing to the north of the existing building will begin in 2024.
The final phase, scheduled to start in 2027, will see scientists moving into the newly built science wing, while the redevelopment of the Gulf Fisheries Centre and construction of the remainder of the centre begins. This step will include carefully rebuilding the façade to commemorate the history of the original building.
When it is fully occupied in 2031, the centre will be equipped with modern laboratory spaces and technology tailored to scientists’ needs, as well as offices and work spaces for over 700 employees from four federal organizations, including Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the National Research Council Canada. The Canadian Space Agency will participate in ASEC as a virtual partner.
The Atlantic Science Enterprise Centre is one of five Laboratories Canada science hubs across the country. Funding for the centre is being provided through the federal government’s Laboratories Canada Strategy.
Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) is leading on project delivery and construction of the facility, and awarded a construction management contract to Pomerleau, Inc. and an architecture and engineering services contract to Diamond Schmitt Architects in October of 2021.
The conceptual design for the centre was presented in November of last year, and the project is currently in the detailed design phase, which is expected to be completed this fall.