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MacEwan breaks ground on $190-million business building

by | May 10, 2024 | Campus, News | 0 comments

Edmonton’s downtown university stays steady on its growth spurt

Just north of the SAMU building, representatives from the province, the city, and community partners put golden shovels to dirt at a groundbreaking ceremony for the university’s estimated $190-million new home for its business school.

With $125 million for this project coming from the Alberta government, MacEwan President Annette Trimbee says the interest from the province has been a boost to the institution.

“It demonstrates that they are aware that we are a school that is producing incredibly talented graduates.”

Initial construction began on the corner of 109 Street and 105 Avenue a couple of weeks ago. The new building, designed by GEC Architecture, is being built by Ledcor and is expected to be up and running by fall 2027. The university says this project will help bring a trading simulation lab, a new supply chain program, and 7,500 more students to MacEwan. 

“Building a new home for MacEwan’s School of Business is an important step forward in growing our campus to accommodate 30,000 students by 2030,” says Trimbee. “That number relates to the demographic bulge in Alberta, the increase in post-secondary participation rates and the incredible demand employers have for new talent.”

MacEwan President Annette Trimbee.

Trimbee says applications for fall are already up 15 per cent from last year. As MacEwan is “bursting at the seams,” hybrid classes have helped meet demand, but Trimbee says students have been craving in-person classes post COVID-19.

“The technology will allow us to grow in ways that we would not have been able to without it, but we know who we are, and we are a place-based university, and we want our students to have that full campus experience.”

The new building is also coming during unprecedented growth for the entire city.

During the ceremony, Mayor Amarjeet Sohi noted how Edmonton’s population and the downtown university are growing rapidly, saying the city gained over 100,000 residents in the last two years. 

“100,000 residents moving to Edmonton means 40,000 households. That’s also a lot of students that we need to accommodate.”

When asked about getting cheaper housing for students downtown, Sohi says it will be an ongoing challenge that requires working with the other government branches and the private sector.

Along with the completed SAMU building and Allard Hall, this will mark the third major construction project MacEwan has embarked on over the past ten years – accounting for around $405 million worth of development in downtown Edmonton.

VP Governance and Finance of SAMU, Joseph La Torre (left) and Alberta Minister of Advanced Education Rajan Sawhney (right).

Photography by Liam Newbigging.

Liam Newbigging

The Griff


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