EDMONTON – It’s an exciting time at MacEwan University. Construction of its $181-million Centre for Arts and Culture is continuing at the same time as development of the arena district, which sits next door.
“We couldn’t have dreamed this up. It has positioned us in a quite remarkable way to be a very different kind of urban institution, and I think we need to take advantage of that over the coming years,” MacEwan president David Atkinson said.
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The university gave Global News a tour Thursday of its new centre, which is under construction on 110 Street and 104 Avenue and will house classrooms, labs, exhibits, and performance space.
The five-storey building will be an integral component to not only the faculty of fine arts and communications but the entire university, Atkinson said.
“Every student regardless if they’re in arts or business or nursing will be using those classrooms,” Atkinson said. “The intention is to clearly integrate it into the building. It is not just for one group of students.”
There are 19,000 MacEwan students, 12,000 which are full time, according to the university. Atkinson believes the student population will grow, but the centre isn’t necessarily designed to house a growing population, rather “to bring the community closer together.”
As the university expands into the surrounding area, Atkinson said the university must build partnerships.
“The best example I know right now of course is our partnership with the Katz and Oiler organization around the arena; that we are going to be part of the community arena. We’ve taken an equity position there.”
The centre is scheduled to open in the fall of 2017.