York receives $70 million for a new life sciences building

York University will receive $70 million to build a new academic building at its Keele campus, dedicated to the life sciences. The funding, under the Federal-Provincial Knowledge Infrastructure Program, was announced yesterday by Mario Sergio, MPP for York West, and Reza Moridi, MPP for Richmond Hill and parliamentary assistant to the minister of training, colleges & universities, joined by York University President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri.

Above: An artist’s computer rendering of the new life sciences building at York University

“Investing in the skills and knowledge of Ontarians is a cornerstone of our government’s plan to strengthen the economy,” said Sergio. “By investing in York University today, the Ontario government is supporting new construction and renovation projects which will create construction jobs in the short term and provide more opportunities for our students to develop the skills they need for the jobs of the future.”

Moridi agreed the project will provide economic benefits in two ways: "By investing in new, modern places to learn at York University, and at universities and colleges across Ontario," said Moridi, "we are strengthening our economy by creating construction jobs in the short term and by helping students get the high-quality education they need to succeed in the future.”

Right: From left, Reza Moridi, MPP for Richmond Hill, York President Emerita Lorna R. Marsden, Mario Sergio, MPP for York West, and York President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri unveil a computer rendering that shows the new life sciences building 

The new life sciences building will provide extra academic space that will enable the University to create fresh opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students as well as researchers in high-demand disciplines such as biology, chemistry, biochemistry and kinesiology. The creation of this critically needed facility will enable York to accommodate the growing demand for health and life science training in the Greater Toronto Area and in York Region, and create capacity for both basic and applied research to support the knowledge economy.

The Knowledge Infrastructure Program is part of an economic stimulus package announced by the federal government in late January.

“Our government’s investment provides significant short-term economic stimulus in local communities throughout Ontario, while at the same time strengthening Canada’s long-term capacity for research and innovation,” said federal Minister of Industry Tony Clement. “The renewal of college and university facilities will encourage more world-class researchers to work in Canada and give them the tools they need to make further discoveries that will benefit Canadians and people around the world.”

Left: York President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri (left), MPP Mario Sergio (centre left), and MPP Reza Moridi (centre right) with students from York’s Faculty of Science & Engineering and Faculty of Health

Work on the new project at York will commence immediately, with site work starting by August 2009.

“I am absolutely delighted that the federal and provincial governments have come together to support this exciting new venture at York,” said Shoukri. “The expansion of our life sciences programs is a key part of our vision to make York a more comprehensive university for the benefit of our students and of the community as a whole.”