Heritage building upgrades helping Royal Roads students excel

September 7, 2018
Photo l to r: Minister Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard; Chief Chipps Beecher Bay, Minister Advanced Education, Skills and Training Melanie Mark, AC, Sherman Jen, MLA Mitzi Dean

Students at Royal Roads University will have better opportunities to push the boundaries of environmental science in a modern facility, as a result of a Canada-B.C. infrastructure investment.

The new Sherman Jen Building, which opened to students in early September 2018, includes major renovations and upgrades to a century-old building (the former Mews Building) and construction of a modern addition.

“Students at Royal Roads University are discovering ways to solve real-world problems in environmental sustainability,” said Melanie Mark, B.C.'s Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. “They’ll now have modern facilities to help them thrive and succeed. Royal Roads students are our future leaders in areas such as agricultural food waste management and innovative recycling initiatives, and they’re helping build the best B.C.”

The $24.8-million project budget includes $9.3 million from the Government of Canada’s Post-

Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund, $5.7 million from the Province of British Columbia, and $7 million from philanthropist Sherman Jen, with the balance supplied by Royal Roads University.

The 4,700 square-metre project includes 2,700 square metres of renovated space and a new 2,000 square-metre addition. The new facilities house environmental science teaching labs, wet labs, and academic support and integrated student service space.

“The Government of Canada is proud of this investment for students at Royal Roads University,” said Navdeep Bains, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. “This will support students by giving them the skills and learning experiences needed to have rewarding careers in environmental science, which will go a long way in fostering talent and innovation in our communities.”

The Sherman Jen building, with its light-filled gathering area, will be the campus hub for undergraduate students at Royal Roads. A new student commons space to foster international and intercultural understanding will help students from different backgrounds create lifelong connections and professional partnerships.