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Chem wing’s $50-million upgrade

April 30, 2009

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The Shrum Science Centre chemistry wing will get a much-needed facelift over the next two years, thanks to a $49.4-million cash infusion from the provincial government and Industry Canada’s Knowledge Infrastructure program. The wing houses classrooms and research labs built to 1965-vintage building codes and research standards, which have changed dramatically over the past 40 years.

The project will refurbish the wing’s exterior envelope, adding seismic bracing, new heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems, removing waste materials, upgrading mechanical and electrical systems, redesigning lab areas and generally renovating the entire facility to modern, eco-friendly standards.

Renewing the 102,000-sq.-ft. facility, home to nearly 60 faculty and staff, will help SFU further its R&D contributions in key areas including health and life sciences, the environment, and information and communication technologies.

"We need to rapidly improve our infrastructure to keep pace with increasing demand, to ensure the continued safety of our community members, attract promising researchers, and produce highly skilled graduates," says chair Andrew Bennet.

"In one year, our teaching labs in Shrum accommodate more than 2,200 undergraduate students," Bennet notes, adding that another 1,100 are taught in the newer South Sciences building’s organic-chemistry labs. It also houses about 50 graduate students and 10 post-doctoral fellows.

Undergraduate chemistry teaching and research labs will be relocated during construction, which is expected to begin in June.

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