Lakehead campus construction moves forward

    ORILLIA, ON, June 12 /CNW/ - Lakehead University celebrated the
groundbreaking of its permanent campus in Orillia, on Wednesday, with the
announcement of the firm responsible for construction.
    EllisDon Corporation, one of Canada's largest builders of non-residential
construction, has been awarded the contract for the construction of the
academic building. In business for more than 55 years, and with 40
LEED-accredited professionals on staff, EllisDon is a highly reputable company
with a commitment to constructing environmentally sustainable buildings.
    "We are very pleased to be working with EllisDon Corporation," noted
Lakehead president Dr. Fred Gilbert. "With the company having approximately 40
LEED-certified buildings constructed or in progress with the Canada Green
Building Council, I am confident they have the expertise to meet the
challenges of a building constructed to the stringent environmental guidelines
a LEED Platinum designation requires."
    Construction of the $45-million academic building is expected to begin by
July 2009. The 80,000-square-foot facility will be able to accommodate up to
1,200 students and is the first of three buildings that will open in September
2010. Construction on the 250-bed residence and a food services building will
begin this summer.
    Lakehead University Orillia Campus will be the first university campus in
North America built to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design
(LEED) Platinum standard, meaning it will be a model for long-term
environmental sustainability.
    "Our students will study in an environment built to the highest levels of
environmental accountability," noted Orillia Dean Dr. Kim Fedderson. "Lakehead
University is committed to student-centred learning and high-quality research,
and is sincere in its desire to help students realize their potential. Our
state-of-the-art facility, interdisciplinary studies and commitment to
environmental excellence will position our students well to become leaders and
independent critical thinkers who are aware of their social and environmental
responsibilities to society."
    Local municipal governments have also shown their commitment to the
development of Lakehead University's permanent campus in Orillia, with the
City of Orillia donating $10 million in land, infrastructure, and money, and
the County of Simcoe making an initial contribution of $500,000 to the Your
Bright Future capital campaign.
    "This occasion marks a significant milestone for Lakehead University as
well as the City of Orillia and County of Simcoe. All of the local
municipalities are on board and see the strategic value of this project," said
Paul Weber, chair of the campaign. "It will be Canada's foremost 'green'
campus and it will bring attention to Simcoe County as a knowledge centre for
green development and environmental research, and in its wake, encourage
research partnerships, new business and new industry."

    About Lakehead

    Lakehead is a comprehensive university with a reputation for innovative
programs and cutting-edge research. With a campus in Thunder Bay and in
Orillia, Lakehead has over 7,900 students and 2,250 faculty and staff.
Lakehead University-Orillia Campus will open up its permanent campus in
September 2010. It will be the only campus in North America where every
building will be built to the highest environmental (Leed (R) Platinum)

For further information:

For further information: Media interviews: Dr. Gilbert, President,
Lakehead University, is available for interview by calling Eleanor Abaya,
Director of Communications at (807) 343-8372,; For more
information and to interview Dr. Kim Fedderson, Dean - Orillia Campus, please
contact Lee Pigeau, Capital Campaign Manager at, (705)
330-4018 or (705) 345-7622 (cell)

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