Grant MacEwan University has taken the first step in a 25-year plan that would see the creation of a single, sustainable downtown campus.
“This will put MacEwan University, this community, this province, on the global scale,” said MacEwan president and CEO Paul Byrne. “It’s going to be a remarkable undertaking. It’s going to take 20 to 25 years to complete but it will give every student at MacEwan the opportunity to access some of the finest learning facilities anywhere.”
The first step in consolidating MacEwan’s three campuses into one is the construction of a new University Service Centre, a 60,000-square-foot space that’s being built atop the current parkade on 109 Street between 104 and 105 avenues.
“This allows us to consolidate a number of support departments that are scattered across our campus sites and bring them together once and for all,” said Stuart MacLean, MacEwan’s director of facilities. “By doing this, we will free up valuable space within the city centre campus and the Alberta College campus, which allows us to continue development of classrooms, labs, faculty and student spaces, and research departments.”
Byrne said MacEwan is the biggest utiliser of students per square metre right now in the system and the additional space will help alleviate some of that pressure.
“Most important thing is it’s going to free up that space that we need now,” Byrne said.
“We have too many students for the space we have.”
The new building will free up over 30,000 square-feet on the downtown campus and a number of pockets of square footage on the other campuses.
Currently, 11,500 full-time students are enrolled at Grant MacEwan University, with another 25,000 students taking part-time courses.