$70 million for Surrey

March 18, 2004, vol. 29, no. 6
By Terry Lavender

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The provincial government is giving Simon Fraser University $70 million to help the university open a new permanent campus in Surrey.

The new campus, which will replace the current temporary facility, will open in the fall of 2005 in Central City, an award-winning architectural development in north Surrey.

The government funding was announced on March 5 by Premier Gordon Campbell, who also promised an additional 3,000 fulltime-equivalent (FTE) places at SFU by the year 2010 - 1,150 of them at the Burnaby campus and 1,850 in Surrey.

SFU President Michael Stevenson welcomed the premier's announcement, and said it would make the university more accessible to more students. “This funding will allow us to expand our presence in Surrey and offer programs in all of our five major academic areas, with 20 per cent of our seats set aside for graduate students,” he said.

“Our expanded presence in Surrey will help us tackle the increasing demand for access to higher education, especially in the Fraser valley region of the Lower Mainland. We will also be able to extend our research and community initiatives in one of the fastest growing areas of British Columbia.”

The new campus will be occupied in two stages. This fall, faculty offices will be moved from the current site to the new building, freeing space for more classrooms in the current facility. The following year, other offices, classrooms and labs will move to the new location.

Currently, there are 650 fulltime undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at SFU Surrey, in the school of interactive arts and technology. In September, they will be joined by new students in computing science, business administration, education and continuing studies. Eventually, all SFU faculties will offer programs in Surrey.

Central City was designed by architect Bing Thom, who will receive an honorary degree from SFU in 2005. Completed in 2003, it has already won accolades both nationally and internationally.

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