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NEWS RELEASE · 16th July 2010
Office of the Premier
A new state-of-the-art building to house the University of B.C.'s Faculty of Pharmaceutical Science will train hundreds of new pharmacists and create up to 850 new jobs during construction, announced Premier Gordon Campbell at a groundbreaking ceremony today.

The new building will help address the shortage of pharmacists in B.C. by allowing the expansion of the undergraduate program by 72 first-year student spaces for a total of up to 224 pharmacy graduates each year by 2015.

"The new Pharmaceutical Sciences Building at UBC will provide an economic stimulus, creating jobs during construction and new student spaces when complete," said Premier Campbell. "This facility will help B.C. students prepare to take advantage of future opportunities in the province's health-care sector and help ensure that we have health-care professionals to support British Columbians."

The Pharmaceutical Sciences Building will be six floors, each at half the size of a football field. The building will contain research and teaching laboratories, office space and classrooms, as well as additional space to be leased out to tenants operating in the drug research, development and commercialization field. The Province is investing $86.4 million of the total project cost of $133.3 million. UBC is providing the balance of the funding.

"This new building is great news for students and for B.C. as it will allow the expansion of the pharmaceutical sciences undergraduate program that will ensure we have the health-care workers we need for the future," said Moira Stilwell, Minister of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development. "Our government recognizes the importance of post- secondary education in securing our future prosperity. That's why we are investing in campus infrastructure as part of our economic stimulus plan."

The new building space will allow the professional pharmacy degree program to expand 47 per cent in enrolment and the building will provide space for 896 undergraduates, an increase of 288 students, by 2014. An additional 72 first year students will be able to start the program by 2011, in temporary facilities until the building opens in 2012, for a total of up to 224 new pharmacy graduates each year by 2015. The faculty's masters, doctoral and Pharm.D. graduate programs will grow significantly during the same period.

The facility will be built to target Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design gold certification. LEED is the recognized standard in green building design.

UBC's Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences is internationally recognized for excellence and innovation in education. Its researchers are among the world's leading minds in the pharmaceutical sciences, and this new building will significantly expand the faculty's capacity for learning and discovery.

"The new Pharmaceutical Sciences Building will allow the expansion of UBC's globally influential pharmacy program while bringing research for new therapies to the public in a timely manner," said UBC president Stephen J. Toope. "This important investment by the B.C. government will generate new knowledge, help ensure the well being of British Columbians and generate significant economic benefits for the province."

The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD) will occupy research laboratories and office space in the building alongside the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Since 2001, the Province has invested more than $1.9 billion in new funding for more than 900 capital projects on post-secondary campuses around B.C., opened seven new universities, added 36,000 seats, and increased spending to post-secondary institutions by 55 per cent.