Two of the University of Calgary’s top-priority capital projects have
received significant funding from the federal and provincial
governments as part of their economic stimulus plans for Alberta and
Canada.

In an announcement on campus Friday, federal Environment
Minister Jim Prentice and Calgary Montrose MLA Manmeet Bhullar
announced a $113-million investment in the university’s plan to build
an energy-efficient cogeneration plant and to outfit the Taylor Family
Digital Library with the latest information technology when it opens in
2011.

“These projects
will help ensure we continue to provide our students with the best
post-secondary education possible and dramatically reduce the
environmental impact of our operations through significant reductions
in greenhouse gas emissions,” U of C President
Harvey Weingarten said.



Through its Knowledge Infrastructure Program, the Government of Canada
awarded $29.8 million for the new cogeneration plant and a campus-wide
energy performance program that will convert the ageing Heating &
Cooling Plant into a 12-15 megawatt cogeneration facility.

The new
system will generate electricity from natural gas and capture the waste
heat to be used in buildings across campus. It will result in $3.5
million in cost savings on energy bills per year and reduce the
University’s carbon dioxide emissions by 80,000 tonnes per year when it
comes online by the end of 2011.


At the same time, $27 million in federal funds will be put towards
state-of-the-art digital learning tools for the Taylor Family Digital
Library and the construction of a new $15 million High Density Library
at the Spy Hill Campus.

 

The Taylor Family Digital Library is currently
under construction west of the MacKimmie Library complex.

When complete
in March 2011, the digital library will provide a wide range of
resources to the community, including online access university library
holdings and academic journals, multimedia labs, a 3-D visualization
lab, video conferencing facilities and new homes for The Nickle Arts
Museum and the University Archives.