The province of Nova Scotia is investing $105 million to improve infrastructure, foster research and enhance healthcare and training at the province’s rural universities.
“Ensuring our post-secondary institutions remain competitive and have the space and infrastructure needed to welcome and train the future workforce is essential for our economic future,” said Brian Wong, Minister of Advanced Education. “These universities are the heart of our rural communities, and these investments will not only improve the student experience, they will enhance access to healthcare training, and create innovative spaces that will house some of the best research facilities and most talented people committed to finding solutions.”
The $105-million investment is one-time operating funding that includes three pieces:
- $65 million in deferred maintenance investments at St. Francis Xavier University, Acadia University, Université Sainte-Anne and Cape Breton University (CBU)
- $35 million toward the construction of a Centre for Discovery and Innovation at CBU
- $5 million to execute planning for a strategic health initiative at CBU.
The deferred maintenance investments will allow rural universities to address a significant backlog of infrastructure upgrades and improvements. Examples include electrical upgrades, roof replacements and accessibility and mechanical upgrades.
The Centre for Discovery and Innovation at CBU is a new project that will house state-of-the-art research and instructional facilities. The centre will feature the latest in green technology and digital infrastructure and will elevate Cape Breton Island as a national destination for research, innovation, health sciences, and a global destination for students.
“The announcements made today here at CBU are transformational and a game-changer. This allows us to invest in infrastructure for our students and our faculty,” said David C. Dingwall, president and vice-chancellor, Cape Breton University. “This investment will further allow us to attract both Canadian and international students to study in expanded science, engineering, technology and medical-related programs at CBU.”
“This funding will allow St. FX to continue, and enhance, its impact in rural Nova Scotia by strongly supporting its mission to build a university the way it is meant to be,” said Andy Hakin, president and vice-chancellor, St. Francis Xavier University.
“This investment will help Université Sainte-Anne modernize its campus infrastructure and make us more competitive. Improvements to facilities will go a long way in allowing us to continue to support not only our student population and staff, but also our local communities,” said Allister Surette, president and vice-chancellor, Université Sainte-Anne.
“Acadia is cherished for its historic beauty and sought after for the transformative education it provides students,” said Peter Ricketts, president and vice-chancellor, Acadia University. “However, the storied buildings of Acadia’s campus require substantial upkeep and rejuvenation to serve the learning and living needs of our campus community. We are very grateful to the provincial government for this significant investment that will allow us to make substantial progress in addressing deferred maintenance and accelerate plans to improve accessibility and energy efficiency on our historic campus.”
Featured image: The proposed Centre for Discovery and Innovation would be an 80,000-square-foot modern research and instructional facility. (Cape Breton University)