Concordia’s Board approves Science Complex

At the last Board of Governors (BOG) meeting, BOG agreed to construct the Loyola Science Complex at the Loyola campus, but there are some concerns about the funding for the new complex.
The building is going to cost $85 million and about half of that amount has been already raised, said Martin Singer, the Dean of the faculty of Arts and Science. “We are continuing to raise funds for the building. Even if we do not have all the funds now, we must built the building, otherwise it will not happen.”
There will be not any government money in building this complex. Singer said that money is not in the education system. “It would be nice to have some government money, but the university badly needs the building, since there are more and more students that are attending the university. The new building will also attract more students and new younger professors, which the university needs.”
An anonymous source, who attended the BOG meeting, said that 5 per cent of the Arts and Science operating budget would be used towards financing a loan for the building. Singer confirmed this, but he emphasized that he did not want the building of the complex to fall behind and that the use of the operating budget would only be used, if it was absolutely necessary.
“If I did not take this step than there would no science complex being built. We will be paying for the interest of the loan without affecting the faculty in any way and we will be still hiring professors. The reason why I took this step was because it was badly needed, but also there is an increase in the budget coming up,” said Singer.
“The alternatives are worse,” added Singer, “If we do not have the new facilities, we will not attract new faculty and the students need renovated facilities, to bring them into 21st Century.”
According to Singer there is minimal risk for this kind of building. “It is only risky if the government does not come through with the expected increase in the budget and if there is a low enrollment rate, but the enrollment rate has been rising.”
The anonymous source also said that Singer did a rushed job of consulting the departments and did not consult everyone. Singer said that he was under the pressure of time constraints and could not consult with all the departments.
“The science complex is something essential that we need and how we implement it is a detail, which I have the mandate to do. I could not consult everyone.”
Construction of the Science complex should be completed by September 2003. It will be built on the west side of the campus and will be attached to the Bryan Building. The complex will house Exercise Science, the natural science departments, and most of the Psychology department. Singer said that he wants all the buildings to be connected, so that students would not have to go out in the winter as much.
This summer the Journalism and Communication departments will be moved to Hingston Hall and the Central building and the move will cost $1.9 million. Both departments will stay there for at least three years. After the Science Complex is built, the Journalism and Communication departments will be moved to the Drummond Building. That move is expected to cost $9.5 million.


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