Vancouver Island University will better turn out health-care workers thanks to a new $39.9-million health and science centre.
The 74,000-square-foot centre will allow the Nanaimo-based university to move its health and chemistry programs into one facility. It will include teaching labs for nursing students as well as labs for applied research in environmental studies.
VIU president Ralph Nilson said the new building will improve the learning environment for students and instructors and help students for careers in health care, a field where demand is expected to become more acute as the Island population grows older.
“The human capital that we develop with our programs in health is going to be extremely important for the region,” Nilson said.
On hand for the announcement at VIU’s main campus was Michelle Stilwell, Liberal MLA for Parksville-Qualicum and minister of social development.
The new building will be paid for with $19.4 million from the federal government, $16.5 million from the province and $4 million from the university and its community partners. It is expected to be completed in fall 2018.
The funding brings the total provincial and federal investment in new infrastructure at VIU announced since December 2016 to $62.3 million.
VIU wasn’t the only Island institution to benefit from a funding announcement this week.
The University of Victoria announced a $7-million project to relocate Ocean Networks Canada for marine research on Tuesday.
On Thursday, Camosun College announced a $48.5-million health sciences building and Royal Roads University unveiled a new $21.5-million building for environmental science and international partnership.
All of the funding came through the federal government’s $2-billion Post Secondary Institutions and Strategic Investment Fund.