By Scott Strasser, March 24 2017 —
Alberta Minister of Advanced Education Marlin Schmidt was at the University of Calgary on March 23 to formally announce the provincial government’s four-year commitment of $270.6 million towards the MacKimmie complex and Professional Faculties redevelopment project.
After a formal event in the MacKimmie complex foyer attended by roughly 70 people, Schmidt spoke to reporters about the importance of the funding.
“We know student space in Calgary is in high demand,” Schmidt said. “We need to invest in projects that expand student space in Calgary. The MacKimmie project was high up on the [list of what] we’re able to deliver on expanding student spaces.”
The government allocated $270 million over four years to the MacKimmie complex redevelopment project in its recently-tabled budget. The province had already devoted $17.2 million towards the redevelopment project last April, intended for a review, planning and design.
According to Schmidt, the funding will help address building code concerns, create 500 new study and classroom spaces and expand the professional faculties at the U of C.
“I understand the top five floors of this building are currently not being used because the building doesn’t meet code anymore,” he said. “By investing over $270 million, we’ll be bringing the building up to code and putting those spaces to use to deliver to students’ needs.”
U of C president Elizabeth Cannon said the project will take three to four years to complete.
“We’re still doing conceptual design and getting into more detail — working with stakeholders to ensure the design of the building will support the function and the programming inside the building,” Cannon said. “When that is completed we’ll get into the construction.”
To make way for redevelopment, offices currently located in the MacKimmie Tower will be moved to either the SMART building or other locations on campus this summer. Roughly 600 people will move offices as a result. Groups based in the MacKimmie Block — the lower part of the complex — will not be affected by the relocations.
Construction is set to begin in September. Cannon said that once completed, the U of C hopes the MacKimmie complex will be a net-neutral building in terms of carbon emissions.
The MacKimmie complex was originally constructed in 1963. The tower was built in 1972.