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October 12, 2000 $100-million building campaign launched




Photo of Engineering and Computer Science employees

Members of the Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science celebrated the erection of a sign on the site of their new building, at the corner of Guy and Ste. Catherine Sts.

When Concordia’s Board of Governors gave approval in principle to the university’s master space plan last April, they set the wheels in motion for an ambitious long-term building project. The recent capital campaign, which raised more than $77 million, has set the pace, and the momentum will be maintained with the launch of a $100-million building campaign to construct three new buildings and do a major refit of existing facilities.

“The current lack of adequate facilities is preventing our Faculties from effectively meeting student demands, and it is hindering the growth of key programs,” said Rector Frederick Lowy. “This obstacle to Concordia’s advancement has lasted long enough. It is time to build a Concordia for the future.”

The campaign will begin with an appeal to the internal Concordia community.
“Internal donations have an impact that greatly exceed their monetary value,” explained Robert Boivin, Advisor to the Concordia University Foundation. “Our participation will demonstrate to potential corporate donors the confidence that we have in ourselves and our institution.”

The internal fundraising appeal will begin this month with a series of presentations to faculty and staff in Engineering and Computer Science, and Commerce and Administration. A series of meetings with other groups in the internal community will follow. A high internal participation rate is expected.

At the same time, instead of an appeal to the general public, the campaign will focus initially on a select group of donors, many of whom are Concordia alumni. Businesses headed by Concordia graduates are on the canvassing list, as are major foundations.
These major donors will be encouraged to leave their mark on the university by lending their name to a building, classroom, lab or other facility.

In addition to the building campaign funds, $37 million has been approved by the provincial government, as promised, for getting out of rented properties. Another $13 million will come from the recent capital campaign. Discussions with officials are also underway to secure additional government funding.

- BB

Internal campaign begins in Engineering

The Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science has been waiting a long time for room to work and grow, and now it’s so close they can almost taste it.

Cramped and scattered, the Faculty’s teaching, research and administrative facilities need the new building planned for the corner of Guy and Ste. Catherine Sts. Enrolment has grown from 1,863 in 1996-97 to 2,528 last year, and the projection for 2004-05 is for 3,500 students.

Members of the Faculty are now engaged in a short period of internal fundraising to demonstrate their commitment to this ambitious project. Professor Charles Giguère, who is the Faculty’s point man on the project, said that “it’s not so much the amount of money as the participation rate that’s important” in this internal appeal. Fundraisers know that the best way to approach potential donors is to be able to say, with confidence, that the recipients themselves are on board.

Giguère described the general concept of the new building. It will increase the Faculty’s space from 17,000 to 29,000 square metres. Twenty thousand square metres will be in the new building, in its high-visibility site on Ste. Catherine; it will include all faculty and administrative offices, all graduate students, and all except the most cumbersome and specialized research facilities.

One block of the 11-storey building (a floor and a half, about 3,500 square metres) will house the labs for the 10 research projects recently awarded grants from the Canada Fund for Innovation.

The other nine thousand square metres will be in the refitted Henry F. Hall Building, for undergraduate classes. That makes sense, Giguère said, because classrooms are what the Hall Building was designed for, and there will be more space allotted to undergraduate teaching alone than the Faculty currently uses for all its operations in the Hall Building.

“We want the shovel in the ground - the real shovel, not the symbolic shovel - by next September,” Giguère said firmly. He recalled as a wry afterthought, “When I came here in 1969, we were told we were about to get a new library building.” It took until 1992 for that dream to be realized, and Giguère, who is now a seasoned administrator, doesn’t want to see that kind of delay repeated.