Province invests $72.6 million in Laurier
He may not have tied it up in ribbons and bows, but when the Hon. John Milloy revealed the provincial investment that he jokingly called “Laurier’s 100th anniversary present” on June 20, it was met with the kind of surprised enthusiasm one might express upon opening a gift they’d never dreamed possible. Milloy, Ontario Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, committed $72.6 million to the Global Innovation Exchange (GIE) facility at Wilfrid Laurier University’s Waterloo campus. The announcement represents the largest single capital investment in the university’s history.
“Laurier produces a steady stream of graduates key to our local and provincial economies,” Milloy told a large crowd of Laurier community members and supporters in the Senate & Board Chamber. “This announcement builds on the excellence that Laurier has built for 100 years. This facility is dedicated to developing young minds.”
The signature GIE building will be located on University Avenue between Hemlock and Hickory Streets, and will become home to Laurier’s School of Business and Economics (SBE) and Department of Mathematics.
The total project cost, which includes renovations to the Peters Building, is $103 million. Laurier has accelerated its fundraising efforts to raise the remaining $30 million.
“This major investment in Laurier is an investment in the prosperity of the region and the province and the tremendous potential of our students,” said Max Blouw, the university’s president and vice-chancellor. “Government support during Laurier’s centennial year recognizes our history of academic excellence and innovation and fosters our purposeful growth into Laurier’s next century.”
Housing SBE and Mathematics together in the GIE will enhance the synergies between Laurier’s business and applied and financial math programs and serve as an iconic representation of the leadership role Laurier plays in Canadian business and Waterloo’s technology industry.
“This new facility, and the people and programs within it, will enable the university to meet the growing demand for enrolment in Laurier’s business and math programs and support Canada’s future business leaders,” said Deb MacLatchy, vice-president: academic. “The GIE will expand Laurier’s ability to deliver integrated and engaged learning opportunities across our campuses to students at the local and global levels.”
Laurier’s Faculties of Arts, Science and Graduate Studies will also benefit directly from the GIE, as the new facility will create opportunities through the increased available space in the Arts, Bricker Academic, Schlegel and Peters buildings.
In his remarks at the announcement event, Blouw said the GIE will allow Laurier to show a new, forward-looking face in Waterloo, with a bold presence on University Avenue, and also nationally and globally through Laurier’s programs and partnerships.
“If it is possible for a building to represent a philosophy and a culture, then the Global Innovation Exchange does that. The partnerships that created it, and the future partnerships it will foster, truly inspire lives of leadership and purpose,” said Blouw.
For detailed information about the GIE facility, including frequently asked questions, artist’s renderings and media coverage, please visit the <a href="www.wlu.ca/GIE">GIE website</a>.