Governments partner with York U to invest $113 million in research and learning

Major upgrades and additions to vital labs, teaching facilities and services

TORONTO, February 17, 2017 – An infusion of $113 million from the Governments of Canada and Ontario, and York University, will modernize labs in the Faculties of Science and Health, create a new building for the Schulich School of Business, and boost energy-efficient cooling and power for 85 buildings on York’s Keele Campus. The investment will create exciting opportunities for the next generation of researchers and students who inspire progress at home and around the globe.

The federal government will provide $40.8 million to York through its Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund, the Hon. Judy Sgro, MP Humber River-Black Creek, announced at York today. The provincial government, represented by the Hon. Steven Del Duca, Minister of Transportation and MPP Vaughan, will provide $6.6 million and York will invest more than $65 million, for a total of approximately $113 million.

$113M in infrastructure funding announced today at York U for science and health labs, a new Schulich School of Business building and sustainability. From left, Faculty of Science Dean Ray Jayawardhana, Dean of the Faculty of Health Paul McDonald, Vice-President Academic & Provost Rhonda Lenton, Minister of Transportation and MPP Vaughan Steven DelDuca, MP Humber River-Black Creek Judy Sgro, York U President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri and York U Vice-President Research & Innovation Robert Hache

$113M in infrastructure funding was announced today at York U for science and health labs, a new Schulich School of Business building and sustainability. From left, Faculty of Science Dean Ray Jayawardhana, Dean of the Faculty of Health Paul McDonald, Vice-President Academic & Provost Rhonda Lenton, Minister of Transportation and MPP Vaughan Steven DelDuca, MP Humber River-Black Creek Judy Sgro, York U President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri and York U Vice-President Research & Innovation Robert Hache

“We are grateful to the federal and provincial governments for this investment in York's research and learning infrastructure. This funding will ensure that our researchers, faculty and students have the resources they need to conduct cutting-edge research that will position Canada as a leader in science, health and business innovation. This important renewal will also help to make our operations more efficient and sustainable in the long-term,” said Mamdouh Shoukri, President and Vice-Chancellor of York University.

The improvements will be made over the next two years.

"The Government of Canada's support for leading-edge facilities at York University will introduce state-of-the-art technology, create new space to expand industry-focused research programs and centres of excellence, and support the modernization of existing laboratory space as well as two new laboratory spaces at York University's Glendon Campus,” said Robert Haché, Vice-President Research & Innovation.

$113 million in infrastructure and sustainability funding announced today at York U. From left, Faculty of Science Dean Ray Jayawardhana, Dean of the Faculty of Health Paul McDonald, Vice-President Academic and Provost Rhonda Lenton, Minister of Transportation and MPP Vaughan Steven DelDuca, MP Humber River-Black Creek Judy Sgro, York U President and Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri, York U Vice-President Research and Innovation Robert Haché, Sherif Saleb, project manager at NXL Architects and David Agro, project architect

$113 million in infrastructure and sustainability funding announced today at York U. From left, Faculty of Science Dean Ray Jayawardhana, Dean of the Faculty of Health Paul McDonald, Vice-President Academic and Provost Rhonda Lenton, Minister of Transportation and MPP Vaughan Steven DelDuca, MP Humber River-Black Creek Judy Sgro, York U President and Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri, York U Vice-President Research and Innovation Robert Haché, Sherif Saleb, project manager at NXL Architects and David Agro, project architect

The funding will be used to:

  • convert the 48-year-old Farquharson Life Sciences building into a modern academic and research building using sustainable practices, renovate labs in three other buildings on the Keele campus, and create biology labs at Glendon, York’s bilingual campus;
  • build an environmentally-sustainable 67,000-square-foot building linked to the existing Schulich School of Business, to support research, global programs and Centres of Excellence;
  • and upgrade equipment in the Central Utilities Building to provide more energy-efficient and reliable heat, cooling and power to York’s 85 buildings.

The investment in York is part of the federal government’s $2 billion fund to modernize research and commercialization facilities at Canadian universities, colleges and polytechnics, improve the environmental sustainability of those facilities and promote economic activity across Canada. These York University projects met the extensive funding criteria of the Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund that include being shovel-ready for completion by April 30, 2018; promoting innovation and long-term economic growth through improved or expanded research, innovation or commercialization spaces; and/or improving the environmental sustainability of research and innovation-related infrastructure.

“Our government has made the support of science the cornerstone of policy development and roll-out and this announcement is part of that approach. This strategy, coupled with the fact that York has long been on the forefront of research and cutting-edge development, means York’s role is one that must expand in ways that assures the University has the tools needed to do the job effectively. This funding is an important step on that path and I am pleased to be here to lend my support to York University and to the concept of policy rooted in science and data,” said the Hon. Judy Sgro.
Modernization of research and learning facilities will create exciting opportunities for students and researchers at York for many years to come.

“Our government is proud to support this important project, which will give York University students access to renewed and upgraded facilities that provide space for three projects; the Major Science Building Renewal project, the Central Utilities and CO-Generation Upgrade project and the Schulich School of Business Expansion. We know that providing access to high-quality education and training facilities is critical to building the highly-skilled workforce we need to support good jobs and economic growth for today and tomorrow, and this investment will help us to do exactly that,” said the Hon. Steven Del Duca, Minister of Transportation.

- 30 -

York University is known for championing new ways of thinking that drive teaching and research excellence. Our students receive the education they need to create big ideas that make an impact on the world. Meaningful and sometimes unexpected careers result from cross-discipline programming, innovative course design and diverse experiential learning opportunities. York students and graduates push limits, achieve goals and find solutions to the world’s most pressing social challenges, empowered by a strong community that opens minds. York U is an internationally recognized research university – our 11 faculties and 26 research centres have partnerships with 200+ leading universities worldwide. Located in Toronto, York is the third largest university in Canada, with a strong community of 53,000 students, 7,000 faculty and administrative staff, and more than 295,000 alumni. York U's fully bilingual Glendon campus is home to Southern Ontario's Centre of Excellence for French Language and Bilingual Postsecondary Education.

Media contact:
Janice Walls, York University Media Relations, 416-455-4710 / wallsj@yorku.ca

Backgrounder: Strategic Investment Fund projects at York University

The Major Science Building Renewal Project ($48M total cost  including $18.7M Federal, $4M Provincial, and $25.3M York University) will enhance York’s research and innovation productivity by modernizing four Science and Health research buildings on the Keele campus and creating two modern Biology labs at the Glendon Campus.
−Major renovation of the Farquharson Life Sciences building, which opened 48 years ago, will create a modern world-class research and academic building. As part of this renovation, the Muscle Health Research Centre will be transformed into a cutting-edge facility for the molecular, cellular and whole-body study of the importance of skeletal muscle to the overall health and wellbeing of Canadians. This lab facilitates the study of muscle biology in the broadest terms, including muscle development, disease, metabolism, blood supply, injury and regeneration, as well as adaptation to acute and chronic exercise. Anatomy labs will also be renovated. The Farquharson Life Sciences building renovation will also include the transformation of 10 research labs in the Faculty of Science into state-of-the-art, modern, collaborative research spaces that will enhance and expand research on the underlying molecular mechanisms of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, cell biology and genetics, environment influences on aquatic animals, and more. The Farquharson building will be renovated to LEED standards and will incorporate sustainable features such as improved daylighting, recycled content and high performance HVAC infrastructure.
−Renovations in other science buildings whose equipment, lab spaces and finishes are at the end of their service life.
−Creation of Biology labs at York’s bilingual Glendon campus for the new Bachelor of Science program.
−Air quality improvements and reductions in energy consumption by modernizing more than 100 fume hoods and building automation HVAC systems and improving building envelope thermal performance.

The Schulich School of Business expansion (almost $50M total cost including $15M Federal and almost $35M York University and Schulich’s Leading Change fundraising campaign) will enable York’s internationally-acclaimed business school to provide facilities and services for its expanding academic and research agenda.
− Set to open in early 2018, a new 6,495-square-metre facility (67,000 square foot) facility, linked to the existing building, for new global programs, faculty researchers, and support of Schulich’s Centres of Excellence, including Schulich’s new Brookfield Centre in Real Estate and Infrastructure; Schulich’s Centre for Global Enterprise; and the School’s Centre of Excellence in Responsible Business.
−New and proposed facilities for expansion of research programs dedicated to specific industries, including the NOESIS Lab for researching consumption and consumer behaviour; and a future Visualization Lab to enhance industry decision-making using data analytics that will be part of a proposed Centre of Excellence in Business Analytics.
−Designed to be one of the most environmentally sustainable academic buildings in Canada, using Thermally Active Building Design, maximizing opportunities for natural ventilation, daylighting and solar energy harvest and minimizing unwanted solar heat gain. A tall solar chimney will provide free cooling and ventilation in spring and fall as well as passive solar preheating of mechanical air ventilation in winter.. The new building, which will feature green rooftops and a rainwater recapture system, will be targeting LEED Gold Certification.

The Central Utilities and Co-Generation Upgrade Project ($15M total cost including $7.1M Federal, $2.6M Provincial and $5.3M York University) will replace old equipment in the 1964 Central Utilities Building at York’s Keele campus with new equipment. York’s Central Utilities Building generates high pressure steam to heat 85 buildings and disinfect research equipment, and chilled water for cooling research buildings and equipment, as well as laboratory environmental chambers.  Power is generated and distributed through York’s Co-generation plant.
−Modernization of chiller, steam and electrical power generation, including replacement of boilers and gas turbines that are obsolescent.
−More capacity for expansion, reduced operating costs, improvements in infrastructure reliability and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
-Upgrades to York’s Central Utilities District Energy System to reduce water and greenhouse gas emissions footprint, and improve reliability.