Classrooms to get $2 million upgrades

Fifteen UBC projects designed to upgrade classrooms and labs by the end of March will receive nearly $2 million in funding from the Ministry of Advanced Education, Training and Technology.

"Improving the learning environment for our faculty, students and staff is one of the most important priorities for the university," says Barry McBride, vice-president, Academic and Provost.

"This fund allows us to increase the number of classrooms and labs that receive upgrades and in some cases offer new and improved courses for students."

Upgrading 15 per cent of all classrooms and lab facilities by the fall of 1999 is one of the goals set by the university in the recently released vision document, Trek 2000.

Fifty per cent of the UBC projects approved by the ministry are classroom upgrades, 30 per cent are lab upgrades and 20 per cent are upgrades to administrative facilities.

Upgrades include classrooms and labs in the faculties of Agricultural Sciences, Arts, Applied Science, Commerce and Business Administration, Education, Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Science.

In some cases, the projects will offer students better access to technology resources. For example, a classroom in the Buchanan Building will be renovated and wired to allow it to house a new multimedia computer lab.

The projects funded are in addition to those covered by UBC's 1998/99 minor capital budget and must be completed by the end of March.

The projects received grants from a $10 million fund established to encourage universities and colleges to expand educational programs and services using existing facilities.

From June through September, UBC submitted lists of projects to the ministry which reflected the funding criteria.

Projects which matched the criteria of improved utilization, and which had not previously been included in the minor capital submission, were put forward.

In addition, Campus Planning and Development contacted all deans to confirm the current status, priority and validity of their minor capital requests and to ask for suggestions regarding proposed or new projects.

For further information on the projects, contact Suzanne Poohkay, Campus Planning and Development at 822-0486 or by e-mail at