Trent University DNA Teaching and Research Facility Approved in Principle
Board of Governors agrees in principle to proceed with construction
From the Board of Governors' Meeting - November 26, 2004 - Peterborough
A business plan outlining the construction of a DNA research and teaching facility to house Trent researchers engaged in DNA related research was presented at today's Board of Governor's meeting.
This facility has approval in principle and represents a longer term strategy to create a cluster of DNA-related activity at the University.
It will also potentially provide labs and offices for the Ministry of Natural Resources research staff who are engaged in fish and wildlife DNA research and the Greater Peterborough Region DNA Cluster office.
The teaching and research facility will include new state-of-the-art laboratories for 11 of Trent's biology and anthropology faculty members, academic office space, new space for graduate students and a home for the Trent-Fleming Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science program. The facility will also be home to Trent's Canada Research Chair in Conservation Genetics and Biodiversity.
Final board approval of the project will be sought after a leasing arrangement has been reached with the Ministry of Natural Resources and a memorandum of understanding has been finalized with the City of Peterborough concerning the City's $2 million pledge.
The project valued at $19,500,000 will create a total of 59,429 square feet of space, with 37,000 of that dedicated to Trent's research and teaching needs.
Funding secured to date includes: the City of Peterborough ($2,000,000); Canada Foundation for Innovation ($3,700,000); Ontario Innovation Trust ($3,700,000); and Ostar Red (Ontario Small Town and Rural Development initiative - $1,326,000). To date, over $10,726,000 in federal, provincial and municipal government funding has been secured.
The DNA activity at Trent University dates back to July 1, 2001 when Trent was awarded a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair to develop a versatile robotic system to provide large-scale DNA profiling. Following a successful community launch of the proposed cluster project at the Galaxy Cinema on April 24, 2003, the partners have continued to collaborate.
At the meeting the board received a delegation of students who asked questions about the proposal and expressed concerns about the timing of the project. The board subsequently concluded that the business plan addressed the concerns cited by the students. The new facility will not have a negative impact on the University's operating budget.
In discussions, the Board affirmed that at all times the President has operated within her spending limit authority and that the tendering process managed by the Greater Peterborough Area Economic Development Corporation was both efficient and reduced costs.
The University is looking forward to completing negotiations with the Ministry of Natural Resources and the City of Peterborough as soon as possible.
Posted November 26, 2004