The venerable Dentistry/Pharmacy Centre will get a complete overhaul thanks to $149 million in provincial capital funding.
Capital investment provides new lease on life for 'architectural treasure'
When the University of Alberta’s Medical Building opened its doors to students for the first time in September 1921, it was hailed as the “Pride of the Campus,” a complement to the Arts Building completed six years earlier.
With its towering cupola, signature brickwork and grand staircases, the building became an iconic backdrop on campus, home to the U of A’s brand new Faculty of Medicine. Although the exterior of what is now called the Dentistry/Pharmacy Centre remains as impressive today, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. The building is riddled with asbestos, the windows are porous, the electrical and mechanical systems are shot, resulting in a 30,650-sq.-m structure that’s sat largely vacant for five years.
Thanks to $149 million in capital funding included in this year’s provincial budget, the building will get a complete overhaul worthy of its historic significance.
“We’re just excited to bring it back to life. Everyone agrees it’s a great building we need to salvage, because it's not in great shape,” said Andrew Sharman, vice-president of facilities and operations.
The funding is part of an overall six-year, $249-million retrofit that will see Dent/Pharm, as it’s known, completely gutted on the interior with an additional atrium replacing the central courtyards.