UPEI’s new climate research facility in St. Peters begins to take shape
Work is progressing on UPEI’s new Canadian Center on Climate Change and Adaptation in St. Peters Bay, PEI.
The new multi-million dollar research center will be UPEI’s first satellite campus outside of Charlottetown.
The 36,000 square foot building will include research and teaching spaces, as well as a drone port.
Research centers, such as the UPEI Climate Research Laboratory, will have space available.
There will also be two floors of residence for over 40 full-time students, with the possibility of bringing in visiting scholars from around the world.
“We know right now that there will be students. There will be visiting professors, researchers, ”said Jackie Podger, vice-president of administration and finance at UPEI.
“We wanted to give them the opportunity to actually live and study in one place.”
The facility also offers a view overlooking St. Peters Bay and is expected to have an impact on the community.
“Well, I don’t think a building of this size has been built in the community since the school was built in 1966,” said Ronnie McInnis, Mayor of St. Peters Bay.
He said local businesses will benefit from the influx of people working and living in the community.
It will also help to research their own backyard in the Greenwich part of PEI National Park. and adapting local agricultural practices to climate change.
“Like other small rural communities, we struggle to have young people around us, so we’re very excited about it,” McInnis said.
“And the opportunity that this represents to deal with climate change and what the future holds.”
McInnis said the economic fallout could take years to accelerate, but some local businesses are already seeing a slight increase.
“We had construction crews that came in for lunch or just ordered their lunch and took it out there,” said Rick Renaud of Rick’s Fish ‘n’ Chips & Seafood House.
“We’re going to make some changes inside and extend our season through November right now and hopefully for business throughout the year.”
University officials call St. Peters Bay a great place for climate change research, with wetlands, beach dunes and agricultural fields nearby.
The land for the $ 14 million facility was donated to the university by local owners.
In line with the focus on climate change, UPEI officials said the energy-efficient building would have a carbon footprint potential close to zero.
The building is expected to be completed by the end of the year.