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Trent University Welcomes Federal Investments in Infrastructure, Research and Graduate Scholarships


University seeks federal and provincial support for
Athletics Complex Expansion and Renovation

Wednesday, January 28, 2009, Peterborough

Trent University is praising yesterday’s federal government budget for its significant investment in new infrastructure for postsecondary education.

The funds, announced as part of the government’s 2009 Economic Action Plan, commit $2-billion to the repair, retrofit, and expansion of facilities at Canada’s universities and colleges.   Seventy per cent of these funds will be committed to the university sector. 

“We welcome the fact that both the Premier and Treasurer Dwight Duncan have publicly stated their commitment to provide matching funds for this federal commitment to infrastructure renewal,” said Don O’Leary, Trent’s vice-president, administration.

The budget also provides universities with access to $750-million for leading-edge infrastructure through the Canada Foundation for Innovation, including $150-million to existing CFI competitions, and $600-million to future competitions.   CFI is an independent corporation created by the Government of Canada to fund research infrastructure.

In addition, the Canada Graduate Scholarships program will receive an additional $87.5-million, creating an additional 1,000 master’s scholarships and 500 doctoral scholarships.  These funds will be distributed through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Canadian Institutes Health Research (CIHR), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

Infrastructure investments are also being made in a new Recreational Infrastructure Canada Fund ($250-million) and a Green Infrastructure Fund ($200-million).    Over three years, $900-million will be invested into these two funds.

“Trent remains hopeful that our shovel-ready projects, such as the expansion and renovation of Trent’s Athletics Complex which will stimulate the local economy by generating immediate construction and renovation jobs, will be considered for funding,” said Mr. O’Leary. 

The proposed $17-million expansion of the complex will serve citizens in the north end of the City and in the County, as well as Trent students.  The City of Peterborough’s Vision 2010 document envisions the designation of an athletics complex in the north end to serve the growing population in that part of the City.

Another infrastructure project at Trent, the planned $17-million refurbishment of Trent’s Stanley Adamson Powerhouse project, has the potential of doubling the output of clean energy to 18,000,000 kW hours per year.  Other infrastructure projects Trent has identified as priorities in the University’s Facilities Renewal Plan include the renovations of the Bata Library and Blackburn Hall.

Mr. O’Leary emphasized that Trent University is an economic driver for this region.

“The impact of Trent on the local economy cannot be overstated,” said Mr. O’Leary.  “Funds such as the Recreational Infrastructure Canada Fund and the Green Infrastructure Fund hold real potential of securing new investments that will benefit citizens and trades in the City and County, as well as our students and the environment.” 

The University will continue its advocacy efforts with federal, provincial and municipal partners to secure its share of the infrastructure program funding and will advocate for an efficient and quick approval process in order to begin construction as soon as possible.

Trent University currently faces a $17-million backlog in deferred maintenance projects.

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For more information contact:

Brittany Cadence, Communications Officer, (705) 748-1011, ext. 6185