Infrastructure project to include new generator and boiler at Loyola campus
An infrastructure renewal project for a generator and a boiler needed to power and heat certain buildings connected to the centralized systems of the Loyola campus is projected to cost a maximum of $8.37 million, according to documents obtained by The Concordian through an access to information request.
The authorization for the renewal project was given following the recommendation of the university’s Finance and Real Estate Planning Committees. It was one of three resolutions concerning the renewal project that were passed during a closed session of the April 19 board of governors meeting.
In an email, university spokesperson Mary-Jo Barr wrote that the amount “is based on an estimate, and the final cost will be confirmed as part of the tendering process.”
Part of the projected cost—$3.1 million—will be funded by the federal government’s Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund (SIF). The SIF and Quebec’s Plan québécois des infrastructures 2016-2026 (PQI) will also fund the research centre due to be built on Concordia’s Loyola campus.
According to Barr, the remaining cost of the $8.37-million renewal project will be “funded by a separate fund paid for by the PQI.”
“Concordia is contributing [approximately] $930,000 to the Loyola Campus Infrastructure Renewal Project,” Barr said.
Funding for the $52.75-million research centre, to be built behind the existing Richard J. Renaud Science Complex will also be split three ways. “Approximately 40 per cent is covered by the federal government, 30 per cent by Quebec [provincial government] and 30 per cent by Concordia,” according to Barr.
The research centre, named Applied Science Incubator in the documents obtained, is a 8,700 square metre extension of the campus’ current science facilities.
An internal memo reviewed by The Concordian confirmed a fund was created for the project on May 27, 2016 by Nancy Sardella, a senior financial officer in the university’s Restricted Funds department.
The principal investigator of the project—who is “responsible for the management of the research project, both financially and operationally,” according to Concordia’s Researcher’s Guide to Financial Management—is Roger Côté, the university’s vice-president of services.
The fund was created approximately a year before the announcement of the Applied Science Incubator. According to Barr, it was created “to allow the university to prepare its submission to the governments for project funding.” As well, the fund included “expenses related to feasibility studies, such as conceptual architecture drawings, estimates and technical studies.”
In response to The Concordian’s request for the science building’s architectural plans, secretary-general and general counsel Frederica Jacobs wrote that, because “the project is in its preliminary phase, final architectural plans are not available at this time.”
According to the board of governors’ resolution during the April 19 meeting, the cost of the research building project “will be paid from a combination of funds received from the federal government through its Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund (SIF), contributions from the government of Quebec and the university’s own capital budget.”
A decision-making summary signed by Côte-des-Neiges—Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough director Stéphane Plante on June 30 indicated that 54 more parking spaces will be needed for the new project, according to a study done by the engineering firm CIMA+.
The summary reads that “it is very probable that [the borough] will need to add parking spaces on street parking reserved for residents when the project is done and to answer to the demands of residents.”
In early September, the C.D.N.—N.D.G. borough determined the project could proceed despite opposition by N.D.G. residents, including Irwin Rapoport, who created a petition requesting a referendum to determine whether or not it should be built.
Rapoport and other N.D.G. residents said they hoped to preserve the green space on which the building would be constructed. “The residents are seeking a moratorium on any development of green space on the campus,” Rapoport told The Concordian at the time.
On Sept. 11, borough officials discovered a clause in Bill 122, a new provincial law adopted in June, which states “public property intended for collective use in the education sector is no longer subject to approval by a referendum.” Consequently, the project was able to move forward without the threat of a referendum.
Photo by Alex Hutchins