Now Reading
$30-million new gift from Don and Ruth Taylor for new campus center puts their donations over the $100 million mark
Dark Light

$30-million new gift from Don and Ruth Taylor for new campus center puts their donations over the $100 million mark

One of Calgary’s most philanthropic families is giving $30 million to the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology to create a new state-of-the-art campus centre.

Dr. David Ross, president and CEO of SAIT, said the facility — to be named the Taylor Family Campus Centre — is a significant addition.

“It becomes the centrepiece of the campus — it’s where students gather, it’s where communities gather and it’s where you build a sense of community,” he said.

The new 269,098-square-foot building, to be constructed with energy-efficient designs, is slated to open in 2027.

The original campus centre, built in 1981, was built for a student population of 8,000.

SAIT’s recently demolished Campus Centre building

“The piece we had was built for its time; we’ve actually over-doubled our student population, so we need more opportunity to serve,” Ross said. “When this opens in 2027, it truly will be the front door of the institution.

“We’re going to have a triple gym, a running track and a rink, which is part of the athletic footprint. But there’s also going to be a very large health and wellness footprint, which is new to us. This is also going to allow our students to do their practicums on campus as part of those clinics.”

The redevelopment plan began in 2022 and has achieved a 95 per cent waste diversion rate.

“There’s a very large student meeting space — including, as a tradition, a renewal of The Gateway, which is the student pub — and there’s also going to be a convention centre, which will allow us to bring larger groups together for those important conversations and events.

“It’s much more inclusive; it’s meant to serve a much larger group and in a more diverse way,” Ross said.

Ross said negotiations with contractors are still in the works but that the gift from the Taylor Family Foundation plays a significant role in overall costs.

Don Taylor said he is proud to support SAIT’s education program and is dedicated to ensuring the success of its people.

“Over the years we’ve hired a number of SAIT graduates. Some of them have become executives and partners in the company, and we’ve always used SAIT as a resource to hire qualified people to come and work for us,” said Taylor, who built Engineered Air into a thriving global business.

The Taylor Family Foundation has gifted more than $100 million in support of arts and culture, education and health care in Calgary.

© 2024 Lifestyles Magazine International. All Rights Reserved.