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Dalhousie’s downtown campus transformed with a single IDEA

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by DCN News Services

HALIFAX, N.S.—Construction is set to begin on Dalhousie University’s Innovation and Design in Engineering and Architecture (IDEA) project — a $64-million investment to the school’s engineering and architecture campus in Halifax’s emerging innovation district.
Seen here is a rendering of Dalhousie University’s Innovation and Design in Engineering and Architecture (IDEA) project — a $64-million investment to Dalhousie’s downtown campus in Halifax’s emerging innovation district.
Seen here is a rendering of Dalhousie University’s Innovation and Design in Engineering and Architecture (IDEA) project — a $64-million investment to Dalhousie’s downtown campus in Halifax’s emerging innovation district. - Photo: Dalhousie University

The IDEA project will add advanced technology and design labs, state-of-the-art engineering facilities and modern teaching and learning spaces to Dalhousie's Sexton campus, and introduce cutting-edge incubation space to better link students and faculty to industry and entrepreneurs, a release indicates.

It is located alongside the world-renowned Halifax Central Library, local technology startups, Halifax's downtown business district and nearby research hospitals.

Scott Brison, president of the federal treasury board, announced a $32-million investment through the Government of Canada's Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund to support the IDEA project.

"Investments like these in Atlantic Canada will support our world-class researchers and position Canada as a global leader in research excellence and innovation," said Brison in a statement.

Dalhousie's downtown campus is home to Atlantic Canada's only school of architecture and its largest and fastest-growing engineering program.

"IDEA will set a new standard in engineering, architecture and planning education, elevating design-oriented technical education and research in Halifax to the global stage," said Dalhousie president Richard Florizone.

With the investment, two new academic buildings will be added to campus. The Innovation Building will feature five state-of-the-art, student-centred workshops and dedicated space to support both student entrepreneurship and external startups and industry. The Design Building will include a 450-seat auditorium and four new design studios for architecture and planning students.

The IDEA also involves significant investments in R&D infrastructure renewal, including research and outreach hubs in clean tech, oceans tech and advanced manufacturing. The campus will also see significant sustainability enhancements to improve efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support student and faculty research, the release reads.

The targeted completion date is spring 2018.

Dalhousie also launched the public phase of the $64-million IDEA project campaign which includes the $32-million investment from the Government of Canada as well as contributions from students, industry and donors. The university will now draw on the support of alumni, donors and industry partners in the final effort to complete the campaign goal. Marjorie Lindsay, honorary campaign chair, has contributed $1 million to the IDEA project.

"I've seen first-hand the tremendous impact that the engineering school has had. Its graduates are community and business leaders who help drive progress and economic development, here in Halifax and across the country," said Lindsay.

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