The district heating and cooling centre is located in the iconic University Hall building, which first opened in 1971. An upgraded district heating and cooling centre is critical to the continued operation and viability of the vast majority of the current campus. Student residences, academic spaces and research labs will all benefit from a more efficient and functional system. It will also give dozens of Albertans consistent, well-paying jobs – a key government priority under Alberta’s Recovery Plan.
Funding for the University of Lethbridge project is part of an additional $98-million commitment to post-secondary institutions for accelerated capital maintenance and renewal, which is expected to create about 533 full-time jobs around the province.
“The University of Lethbridge is one of the top research universities of its kind, and it’s also a strong pillar of the regional economy. This funding will not only guarantee a high-quality campus experience for years to come, it will also help many Albertans in the Lethbridge area find gainful employment and provide for their families.”
“Alberta’s Recovery Plan focuses on infrastructure as a critical component for supporting economic growth and jobs for Albertans. This includes investing in shovel-ready projects to upgrade and maintain public facilities, like this post-secondary institution, that help keep Albertans working and stimulate local economies where it matters most.”
“Our government is working to make smart and responsible investments. This new capital maintenance funding for the University of Lethbridge – funding that has been deferred for over a decade – is a welcome influx of capital to Lethbridge. This is spending that will benefit students, help control the cost of future maintenance to the university, and will also help the community by ensuring that well-calculated and focused projects are creating jobs right here in Lethbridge.”
"The investment in a new energy centre at the University of Lethbridge not only creates immediate employment, but will lower our carbon footprint and provide ongoing operational savings through energy efficiency. This new plant and supporting infrastructure will reliably meet the heating and cooling requirements for approximately 80 per cent of our campus buildings."
Budget 2020 already includes $118.5 million for capital maintenance and renewal at colleges, universities and polytechnics. In April, the Alberta government announced it was accelerating the capital plan and increasing capital maintenance and renewal spending in 2020-21 to almost $2 billion. Advanced Education worked with post-secondary institutions to identify projects, with a focus on addressing existing maintenance issues, ensuring compliance with building codes and regulations, increasing access to services, and reducing operational costs. Government also prioritized projects that will help create jobs, and are ready for work to begin.
The University of Lethbridge project is part of the more than $10 billion infrastructure spending announced as part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan. This spending includes: $6.9 billion Budget 2020 capital spending, $980 million accelerated for Capital Maintenance and Renewal, $200 million for Strategic Transportation Infrastructure Program and water infrastructure projects, $600 million in strategic infrastructure projects, $500 million in municipal infrastructure and $1.5 billion for Keystone XL.
Alberta’s government is helping create thousands of good jobs for Albertans by building schools, roads and other core infrastructure that benefits Albertans and communities. It will further diversify our economy by helping sectors grow and succeed and returns investment to our province by ensuring we have the most competitive tax environment in Canada.