Royal Roads University’s first new building is open for learning.
The $20-million Learning and Innovation Centre (LIC) is one of 39 projects under the joint federal-provincial Knowledge Infrastructure Program aimed at renewing infrastructure at post-secondary institutions across Canada.
“We know that right across British Columbia, post secondary infrastructure investments will continue to have a great positive long-term impact on our communities,” said Minister of Advanced Education Naomi Yamamoto.
“Our government does believe that post secondary education and skills developement will enable British Columbians to support their families with good jobs and compete successfully in the global economy.”
Built to LEED Gold standards, the 5,781-square-meter, four-storey building is the first designed and built for the university since it opened at the Hatley Park National Heritage site in 1995.
Despite the state-of-the-art technology featured in the 33 breakout rooms, seven classrooms, five computer labs the facility came in almost $4-million under the original cost estimate of $23.6-million.
“We needed the government in order to get both levels of government funding (and) we did it under budget and on time and it is a great facility,” said RRU president Allan Cahoon. “It is an exciting thing to see the university is progressing, it is building (and) it demonstrates a certain coming of age.”
Cahoon anticipates a growth in student population of 50 per cent over the next five years due in part to the LIC that features environmentally friendlier options such as flax-based linoleum flooring and low volatile organic compound paints. But in the end, Cahoon said, it is about their students.
“It really helps us with our teaching and it is designed around the kinds of students we have,” he said. “It is a reflection of how we teach the way we teach and the nature of our student population.”