York University’s growth as a leading interdisciplinary research and teaching university in Canada took another big step forward with the opening of the new Life Sciences Building (LSB) on Thursday, June 28, 2012. On hand to deliver remarks for the opening were York University President and Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri; the Honourable Peter Van Loan, Member of Parliament for York-Simcoe and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Reza Moridi, MPP for Richmond Hill; Harvey Skinner, Dean, Faculty of Health; and Janusz A. Kozinski, Dean, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
The 160,000 square-foot building received federal and provincial funding totalling $70 million through the federal government’s Knowledge Infrastructure Program (KIP) and the Ontario government’s 2009 budget. It will create space for both graduate and undergraduate students, with classrooms, offices, laboratories and research facilities to support increased enrolment in high-demand science and health-related disciplines such as biology, chemistry, biochemistry and kinesiology. The new building will also house specialized facilities, such as nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), X-ray, mass spectrometry and radioisotope laboratories.
“With this building, York is now able to accommodate the growing demand for health and life science training in the Greater Toronto Area. It will also create capacity for both basic and applied research to support the knowledge economy,” said York University President and Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri. “This is especially critical if we are to better serve our communities, our province, and our nation. But more importantly, it will create new opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students, as well as researchers in high demand disciplines such as biology, chemistry, biochemistry and kinesiology.”
Faculty of Health Dean Harvey Skinner recalled how everyone involved in the project from the architects to senior York administrators to faculty kept the project on track until it’s completion on time. “This is proof that academics can be nimble,” said Skinner. He also talked about the “wow” opportunity the new building provides for “game changing research,” citing as an example the design of the upper floor labs that will allow for increased collaboration among researchers and faculty across various disciplines.
Faculty of Science & Engineering Dean Janusz A. Kozinski emphasized how the LSB’s teaching and research facilities support the four key elements of science: creativity, multi-disciplinary, collaboration and innovation. The LSB, he said, “is a great example that dreams do come true.”