The new building will accommodate 440 new full-time student spaces and 40 faculty and staff in September for the university's new sustainable energy engineering degree program.
The program integrates science, environment and business courses in energy engineering to prepare students to work in clean technology sectors like power generation, and food and water.
The five-storey building, which is around 215,000 square feet and cost $126 million, was officially opened at a ceremony on Thursday. It sits adjacent to the current SFU campus at Surrey's Central City Mall.
Thom’s widow, Bonnie, was on-hand for the official opening of the building Thursday, along with Premier John Horgan, Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum, B.C. Minister off Jobs, Trade and Technology Bruce Ralston, B.C. Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training Melanie Mark, MP Joyce Murray, B.C. Minister of Labour Harry Bains and other dignitaries.
It features a 400-seat lecture hall, wet and dry teaching labs and classrooms, study spaces, offices and a bright central atrium space.
"This isn't just a building," Melanie Mark, minister of advanced education, skills and training, said in a statement.
"It's an innovation hub where energy engineering students will design solutions for smarter communities, cleaner energy and position B.C. as a global leader in clean tech."
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Simon Fraser University has opened the largest expansion its satellite Surrey campus has ever seen, since it was established nearly a decade and a half ago.
The footprint of SFU Surrey, currently centralized within the iconic Central City shopping mall and office complex in Surreys emerging city centre, has been expanded to a new $126-million facility built across the street at 10285 University Drive.
Named the SFU Sustainable Energy Engineering building, the 220,000-sq-ft, five-storey building is dedicated to students enrolled in the universitys new sustainable energy engineering degree programs, which offers an interdisciplinary approach to energy engineering by integrating science, environmental, and business courses.
This new approach is intended to prepare students to work in clean technology sectors, such as smart cities, clean power generation, and sustainable food and water solutions.
This is where the youth of the region are, said Heeney, who also worked as an architect on the project. A third of B.C.s youth under age 19 live in Surrey, and many of them are from first-generation families, said Heeney.
There is sufficient space in the new building for 440 new full-time equivalent students and 40 faculty and staff.
The building was one of the final designs by Bing Thom, an internationally-celebrated Vancouver architect who suddenly passed away in 2016. Thom was also behind the design of the adjacent Central City complex and Surrey City Centre Public Library, and other prominent buildings in the region such as Guildford Aquatic Centre, UBC Chan Centre for the Performing Arts, Aberdeen Centre, and Westbanks upcoming The Butterfly Tower.
Facilities within the new visually prominent building include modern wet and dry teaching labs, classrooms, study spaces, offices, and a 400-seat lecture hall. A large light-filled central atrium space brings together all of these spaces while providing students, faculty, and the public with a significant common area.
Simon Fraser University is grateful for the significant support received from the federal and provincial governments for this much-needed Surrey campus expansion, said Andrew Petter, president and vice-chancellor of SFU, in a statement.
The new facility and program will enable SFU to generate the talent and research that BC and Canada require to be leaders in the development and application of clean technologies and sustainable energy solutions.
The original SFU Surrey campus space within Central City spans 470,000-sq-ft of floor area, and there is a need for continued expansion due to student overcapacity. Future phases with a combined budget of $355 million will expand SFU Surreys presence in the city centre with a Science Health and Technology Building, a Business Management Building, and a Graduate Facility Building.