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Super Build proposal released
By Stephanie Cesca
Western president Paul Davenport revealed yesterday a request the university will submit to the provincial government on Monday, for a piece of the Super Build Growth Fund pie.
There are two major categories to Western's proposal, Davenport explained. The Accessibility Quality Project requests money for new academic facilities. The Biomedical Sciences Project, on the other hand, requests money for the renovation and expansion of buildings as well as the expansion of programs.
"The total cost of this first project is $80 million. So we're looking for $40 million from the Super Build Growth Fund and $40 million from other sources," Davenport said.
He explained the other sources included fund-raising, university resources, funding from various other institutes and a loan estimated at $11.3 million.
The second project, Davenport said, would cost $37 million, of which $16 million would hopefully come from the province. A bank loan would not be necessary in this project, he said.
Davenport explained one of the proposal's objectives is to provide modern facilities and space for the great influx of students expected in the 2003 double cohort, when two years of high school students will enter university at the same time.
"The fact is we recognize that we haven't covered all of the needs necessary when we look at our enrollment expansion," said Greg Moran, Western's VP-academic. Moran added when formulating this proposal with Davenport, they ensured they did not inflate the numbers of increased students they expect to enroll at Western in the future. He said the proposal is a very modest estimation.
Mark Kissel, VP-education for the University Students' Council, said he had faith in administration's initiatives in the proposal.
"I think it's great. We're not asking for an outrageous amount," he said. "Also, with seeking out private loans, it will off-set some of the costs that will make our proposal, I feel, a lot more attractive to the government."
Dianne Cunningham, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, said each of the proposals will be reviewed and considered on an individual basis, as they are received next week. "We must have the money committed by the end of this fiscal year," she said.
All post-secondary institutions, she added, will hopefully celebrate the response they receive from the Ministry regarding funding.
Post-secondary schools will have to start spending their grants right away, she said, as the building of new classrooms and facilities to accommodate the influx of students will take between two and three years to complete.
Until then, however, Cunningham said the race was on between the institutions to get the funding they request. "This will be a very competitive time."