UNBC President Daniel Weeks is excited about what a new, downtown Wood Research Lab will mean for both the school and the city.

Premier Christy Clark made the $4.5 million investment announcement during her keynote speech at the BC Natural Resources forum on Wednesday. The Provincial government is putting $2.62 million towards the project, and the other 1.88 million is coming from Ottawa.

The facility will be used by students in the master of engineering in integrated wood design program and the BC leadership chair in tall wood and hybrid structures engineering. President Weeks says this building will offer these students a world-class education.

“They can do everything from testing how wood is put together to seismic events to all kinds of things with large scale models. Our students they’re going to get experience that they can’t get anywhere else in the world in using wood to build things, to this point, we’ve never used wood for.”

The one-story, 9,680 square-foot building will be adjacent to the Wood Innovation and Design Centre (WIDC). This space is larger than the one students are currently using, which will allow for things like external research, a wood conditioning and process room, and classroom space.

With a state-of-the-art facility like this, Weeks says this will also attract students from all over the world.

“I was in China visiting the Forestry Research University in China, they’ve heard of our programs so we’re already making a name for ourselves around the world. This is a fantastic opportunity.”

Wednesday’s announcement was a year in the making. Construction will start in the coming months and should be completed by spring 2018.

Photo taken from https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2017PREM0018-000219