A long-awaited science building at U of T Mississauga received approval from governance last month and is now moving forward.
Professor Ulrich Krull, UTM’s vice-president and principal, presented the proposal to Governing Council on Dec. 14. The UTM Science Building, which will be located in the space between the William G. Davis Building and the Terrence Donnelly Health Sciences Complex, will provide much-needed wet laboratory space for the campus’s current and planned research needs. It is expected to be completed in 2021.
“This is a tremendously exciting development for UTM,” says Krull, noting that this is the largest capital project ever built by U of T on any of the three campuses. “It marks a critical pivot in the perception of UTM as being focused on undergraduate studies. UTM is strategically investing in research support at a level that is commensurate with that of a leading university of international stature. A new building focused on research will result in a cultural change across the campus that will take UTM forward as a full contributor to the goals and aspirations of U of T”, reflecting the U of T mission of “being an internationally significant research university, with undergraduate, graduate and professional programs of excellent quality”.
According to Krull, several external reviews identified the urgent need for additional laboratory research space at UTM. Activities will build on the academic plans of a number of departments, with an example being the creation of new therapeutics by the Centre for Medicinal Chemistry (CMC) as one research focus. The new space, totaling 7,134 net assignable square metres (15,552 gross square metres), will complement UTM’s plans for accelerated faculty hiring and graduate student recruitment. The CMC alone is projected to grow to include approximately 130 graduate students, research associates and post-doctoral fellows by 2022-23. Other building occupants will include the forensic sciences program and a high-performance computing data centre.
The new building, which will be funded by capital reserves, long-term borrowing, donations and a contribution from the U of T Office of the Vice-President and Provost, will continue the tradition of sustainability at UTM, and will aim for a minimum of Silver certification in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building certification process.