SEPT-ÎLES, QC, Nov 17, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - In an atmosphere of collective pride, the dignitaries present at the ribbon-cutting ceremony officially opened the brand-new Alouette University Building in Sept-Îles. Yves Bolduc, Minister of Higher Education, Research and Science and Minister responsible for the Côte-Nord region, Jean-Denis Girard, Minister for Small and Medium Enterprises, Regulatory Streamlining and Regional Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Mauricie region, Réjean Porlier, Mayor of Sept-Îles, Claude Boulanger, President and CEO of Alouette, Martin Gauthier, Rector of Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, Donald Bherer, Executive Director of Cégep de Sept-Îles, and André Martel, former President and CEO of Aluminerie Alouette, addressed the people in attendance.
The Alouette university building represents a $10 million investment by Sept-Îles' largest employer and is a major legacy for the entire community. According to Alouette President and CEO Claude Boulanger, "Aluminerie Alouette is proud to offer the Côte-Nord population a building that, as of today, will be the hub of higher education in the region." The project was sparked by an agreement between the company and the Government of Québec, whereby Alouette obtained a block of energy needed for its expansion project. Claude Boulanger went on to say, "The creation of a university cornerstone, as the Alouette building has now become, is a moment of historic importance."
Construction of the signature 2,700-square-metre building got under way in August 2013 and took just over a year. At the peak of construction over 50 workers were busy on the site. About 85% of the manpower came from the region. Close to 90 suppliers and contractors from the Côte-Nord and elsewhere in Quebec were involved in the project. Combining a modern design with a number of sustainable development features, the Alouette building incorporates a wide array of regional materials, including aluminium and wood, as provided for by the architectural concept. A solar wall and solar collectors, a geothermal system and a grey-water recovery system give the building a significant environmental flavour. The three-level structure houses over a dozen classrooms, videoconference rooms and laboratories, as well as a multipurpose atrium and numerous office spaces. It is linked to the other buildings on the higher-education campus by an overhead walkway.
Large enough for almost 400 students, the building will mean new university services in the region and, at the same time, ensure the long-term existence of the current training dispensed by Université du Québec à Chicoutimi (UQAC). In the words of UQAC Rector Martin Gauthier, "The Alouette building is a tangible example of what a partnership based on a collective commitment to success, instead of individual ambitions, can produce. It's up to us now to make the UQAC campus in Sept-Îles a success." The new building will welcome its first students as of start of the winter 2015 term.
Without a doubt, tomorrow's leaders will have access to a major, unifying building — a tangible illustration of the importance of education at a time when manpower needs are critical. The Alouette building is perfectly integrated into the higher-education complex surrounding Cégep de Sept-Îles. In the words of Donald Bherer, Executive Director of Cégep de Sept-Îles, "Through the synergy agreement signed with UQAC, this project is an innovative model of the presence of higher education in a region where the CEGEP and university have agreed to coordinate their training and research efforts. On top of the efforts devoted to the building's creation, Cégep de Sept-Îles has made a contribution in kind worth an estimated $1 million, namely the land, parking, etc."
To help define and follow up the institution's future orientations, an advisory committee made up of members of the community was recently created. It should also be pointed out that the Government of Québec has set aside $1 million for the acquisition of various equipment.
About Aluminerie Alouette
Established in 1992, Aluminerie Alouette is an independent aluminium producer. With close to 1,000 employees and an annual production capacity of 600,000 tonnes of primary aluminium, Alouette is the largest employer in Sept-Îles and the largest aluminium smelter in the Americas. The state-of-the-art Sept-Îles facility is a world reference in terms of energy efficiency and meets all government environmental standards.
About Université du Québec à Chicoutimi
Created in 1969, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi (UQAC) is a public, French-language university. Its main campus is located in the Saguenay region. UQAC has a student population of close to 10,000, including over 3,000 students in five countries around the world. It offers close to 200 programs of studies at the bachelors, master's and doctoral levels, covering most academic fields. UQAC's programs and the pertinence of its research have earned the university an international reputation and have allowed it to position itself as a leader in higher education.
About Cégep de Sept-Îles
Cégep de Sept-Îles is a college-level institution of higher learning. It provides Quebec's Côte-Nord region with specialized training and applied research services, as well as support for regional development. It has an international reputation in its areas of expertise, including heavy industry.
- $10 million investment by Aluminerie Alouette
- Floor area of about 2,700 square metres, spread over three levels
- Room for close to 400 students
- A diversified teaching program such as social sciences, teaching, nursing, administration and psychology for the first degree and sustainable development, educational management and regional studies for the second and third degrees
- Over 50 spaces, including over a dozen classrooms, one of them large enough for 72 students
- Dedicated laboratories, versatile spaces, videoconference rooms, offices and a multipurpose atrium
- Over 160 cross-laminated timber (CLT) and glued-laminated (glulam) spruce panels integrated into the structure
- Abundant use of aluminium (curtain-wall mullions, sheeting, foam cladding, parabolic solar collectors, beams, walls, main staircase structure)
- Solar wall (close to 50 square metres), 15 solar collectors on the roof, a geothermal heating and air conditioning system with over 20 wells and a four-tank rainwater recovery system
- A major work of art created by an artist from the region (official unveiling to come)
- Modern architecture created by BGLA Architecture & Design Urbain
- Engineering and construction by AXOR Experts-Conseils and AXC Construction
Companies that contributed actively to construction of the building
- Altech 7-Îles
- Ateliers de fabrication du Saguenay
- Bétonnières du Golfe
- Bouchard & Blanchette Marine
- Cerata Sept-Îles
- Construction et ferblanterie JB
- Construction RIC
- G7 Construction
- Gicleurs de la Mauricie
- Groupe Cadoret
- Équipements Nordiques
- Groupe Starwall
- Pavage Béton TC
- Pro-Flex Côte-Nord
- Toitures BLP
- Vitrerie L.C.
Note: A number of other contractors and suppliers were also involved in various steps in construction.
SOURCE: Aluminerie Alouette
For further information: Source: Maxime Lelièvre, Advisor, Communications, Aluminerie Alouette, Telephone: 418 964-7340, [email protected]; Information: Marie-Claude Guimond, Manager, Communications, Aluminerie Alouette, Telephone: 418 964-7335, [email protected]; Donald Bherer, Executive Director - Direction générale, Cégep de Sept-Îles, Telephone: 418 962-9848, extension 241, [email protected]; Jean Wauthier, Director, Bureau des affaires publiques, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, Telephone: 418 545-5011, extension 5006, [email protected]