July 2nd, 2020

U of L’s new science facility named Science Commons

By Kuhl, Nick on August 31, 2019.

Nick Kuhl

Lethbridge Herald


The Destination has been reached.

Known as the Destination Project through its announcement and construction phases, the University of Lethbridge’s new $280-million science facility set to open to students has an official name: Science Commons.

The name was selected to reflect that the building brings together eight different departments in “an environment that stimulates collaboration and brings a multidisciplinary approach to solving the complex problems of today,” U of L officials said in a news release Friday.

“The main idea behind using the word “commons” was to reflect the fact that this building is inviting, not to only our scientists, but to everyone across campus from all faculties, as well as the entire community in Lethbridge and southern Alberta,” said Matthew Letts, interim Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Science, in the release.

Science Commons will bring together faculty and students from biochemistry, biological sciences, chemistry, neuroscience, physics and astronomy and psychology. Students will be able to work alongside world-renowned researchers, supported by state-of-the-art spaces, equipment and resources.

Science Commons also features dedicated spaces that allow the U of L to double its capacity for science outreach with schools, through science camps and clubs, and the community at large, through lifelong learning and meeting places, Letts says.

“Science Commons is the perfect descriptor because the building is specially equipped for world-class scientific research and teaching, while the word “commons” denotes that the space is meant for everyone,” he said. “The science-on-display concept is designed to encourage community participation, showcase the extraordinary work that happens in the labs here and inspire the next generation.”

Science Commons has incorporated Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and aims for gold LEED certification. It has natural ventilation to take advantage of the sun and the wind, as well as floor-to-ceiling windows and interior glass walls maximize the amount of natural light.

Additionally, there is an active lighting system equipped with LED lights, motion sensors and sensors that automatically dim lights when natural light is available.

The public is welcome to see Science Commons during the Big Bang Grand Opening Weekend on Sept. 13 and 14. Official opening ceremonies are scheduled for Sept. 13 at 11 a.m.

As part of the grand opening, a Blackfoot name will be bestowed to the building during a traditional Blackfoot ceremony.

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