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New science complex builds on commitment to undergraduate studies

Thursday, December 6, 2012

WATERLOO, Ont. (Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012) – The new home for undergraduate studies in the Faculty of Science at the University of Waterloo is one step closer to reality with today's groundbreaking of the new Science Teaching Complex. 

The five-storey, 120 000-square-foot building will be located in the heart of campus. Demand for the Faculty’s successful undergraduate program has grown significantly in recent years. The complex will be dedicated to the undergraduates, providing resources they need to succeed while they study at Waterloo.

"It gives me great pleasure to host today's groundbreaking ceremony for this exciting addition to our campus," said Feridun Hamdullahpur, president & vice-chancellor of Waterloo. "This university is committed to help our students reach their full academic potential, our faculty to continue their tradition of research and teaching excellence, and the Faculty of Science to expand on its distinguished and critical role in training the great researchers of the future. I am particularly grateful to Mike and Ophelia Lazaridis for their vision for science and tremendous contributions to the University of Waterloo by making this building a reality."

Construction of the new building was made possible with the generous support of $10 million by Mike Lazaridis, co-founder and vice chair of the board at Research In Motion, and his wife Ophelia. Both attended today's ceremony.

"Ophelia and I are deeply committed to helping the University of Waterloo remain at the forefront of scientific discovery and technological innovation that we believe will transform the Waterloo region into the Quantum Valley," said Mr. Lazaridis. "We are pleased that this project will contribute to that goal.”

The Science Teaching Complex will include a suite of lecture rooms, including a 425-seat amphitheatre, the largest on campus, a 300-seat lecture hall, as well as three additional 150-seat teaching rooms. First-year teaching laboratories, student lounges, meeting rooms and a student café are also included in the building designed by ZAS Inc. Architects, NXL Architects, MCW Consultants, JMR Electric Ltd. and Read Jones Christoffersen Consulting Engineers.

“This ambitious, student-centred facility will bring our undergraduates together in the core of campus," said Terry McMahon, dean of science. "We consider this to be the new home for science students, a hub of activity where they can gather, collaborate and work towards their educational goals.”

Bondfield Construction Company is expected to take roughly two years to complete the building, with a target opening date of April 2015.

Image: (left to right) Ophelia Lazaridis, Mike Lazaridis, Feridun Hamdullahpur, Terry McMahon, Bill Power, and Diana Kim.

Ophelia Lazaridis, Mike Lazaridis, Feridun Hamdullahpur, Terry McMahon, Bill Power, and Diana Kim holding shovels.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

About the University of Waterloo

In just half a century, the University of Waterloo, located at the heart of Canada's technology hub, has become one of Canada's leading comprehensive universities with 35,000 full- and part-time students in undergraduate and graduate programs. Waterloo, as home to the world's largest post-secondary co-operative education program, embraces its connections to the world and encourages enterprising partnerships in learning, research and discovery. In the next decade, the university is committed to building a better future for Canada and the world by championing innovation and collaboration to create solutions relevant to the needs of today and tomorrow. For more information about Waterloo, please visit www.uwaterloo.ca.

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Media Contact: 

Pamela Smyth

Media Relations Officer

Communications & Public Affairs

University of Waterloo

519.888.4777

psmyth@uwaterloo.ca

www.uwaterloo.ca/news

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