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Published: 17 Dec 2001

Ground will be officially broken for innovative teaching facilities at McGill on Monday, December 17. Pauline Marois, Quebec's Deputy Premier and Finance Minister, will be present at a press conference and groundbreaking ceremony to announce the Government of Quebec's multi-million contribution towards the construction of McGill's new Lorne M. Trottier Building. Named after engineering alumnus Lorne M. Trottier, the new facilities are being constructed at a total cost of $17 million, the new teaching facilities will be built to enable McGill to meet the surging demand for information technology and engineering professionals across North America.

Quebec government funds construction of new IT and engineering building at McGill

Ground was officially broken for new and innovative teaching facilities at McGill today, thanks to the generous support of the provincial government. Pauline Marois, Quebec’s Deputy Premier and Finance Minister, visited McGill to announce that the Government of Quebec is contributing $7 million towards the construction of the Lorne M. Trottier Building.

Named after engineering alumnus Lorne M. Trottier, the new building will be completed by 2003, at a total cost of $17 million. A joint project by McGill Faculty of Science and Faculty of Engineering, the Lorne M. Trottier Building is being constructed to enable McGill to meet the surging demand for information technology and engineering professionals across North America.

A McGill engineering graduate himself, the 53-year-old Trottier is co-founder of Montreal-based Matrox Electronic Systems Ltd. and president of Matrox Graphics Inc. Exactly 14 months ago, the businessman visited McGill to announce he was making a personal gift of $5 million towards his namesake building. At the time, Trottier pledged to double his donation to $10 million if McGill managed to raise the remaining $7 million required to construct the facilities.

Grateful for Quebec’s contribution

McGill Principal Bernard Shapiro is delighted the provincial government has stepped in to finance a significant portion of the new teaching facilities. "By providing the final $7 million required to make the Lorne M. Trottier Building a reality, the Government of Quebec is doing more than signing a cheque," he said. "By investing in our young people, and the space required to teach them, our leaders recognize that vision requires support and that true collaboration between the public and private sector is the only way that McGill and other Quebec universities can fulfill their potential in service to society."

John Gruzleski, McGill’s dean of engineering, said the Government of Quebec’s multi-million contribution is a marvellous Christmas present for McGill and Quebec society. "By funding the Trottier Building, the provincial government is really investing in the economic future of Quebec, since we’ll be able to educate more of the computer and software engineers our economy so greatly needs," he said.

Lorne Trottier stressed the Quebec government has much to gain by funding new teaching spaces, since the new facilities will enable McGill to boost the number educated workers entering the labour force. "The business community has been lobbying the government for this kind of investment for years," he says. "I’m extremely pleased the Government of Quebec has come forward to support this project."

Building facilities to train extra professionals is urgent priority. Currently, McGill is so under-spaced that 500 students compete for some 85 places in computer engineering every year. Constructing the Trottier Building, said Gruzleski, "will allow us to double our number of computer engineering and other IT students."

Since undergraduate teaching will be the Trottier Building’s core vocation, the added space will permit McGill to launch new degree programs in microelectronics engineering and in software engineering. What’s more, the new facilities will allow McGill to expand its popular electrical engineering, computer science and telecommunications programs.

"I believe Lorne Trottier’s donation has provided a catalyst for increased cooperation between McGill University and the Government of Quebec," said Principal Shapiro.

In the last 14 months, other private and corporate sources have come forward with close to $2.5 million in additional funding for the Trottier project, including $1 million from the Krieble Foundation, a significant gift from engineering alumna Marika Roy, $250,000 from McGill’s 1962 Engineering Class and a soon-to-be announced gift from Cisco Systems Canada. Gruzleski estimates another $2 to $3 million in donations is still required to equip the Trottier Building with latest in high-tech teaching accessories. "That’s why we’re still very much in fundraising mode," he said.

Where and when

Construction of the Trottier building should commence in March 2002, with completion targeted for May 2003. As for the building’s physical location, it will be built on University St., on the north-east side of McGill’s downtown campus. Structurally, it will feature six floors of advanced teaching laboratories and interactive learning rooms.

The Lorne M. Trottier Building will be at the heart of McGill’s new TechSquare – a hub dedicated to the research and teaching of genomics, proteomics, advanced materials nanotechnology, bioinformatics and aerospace engineering.

When the new space is finally completed in 2003, Lorne Trottier says his goal in donating $10 million will have been realized. "My hope is that this building will enable more young people to attend McGill and receive the great education that will open more opportunities for them."

Some essential facts

  • Construction of the Lorne M. Trottier Building is scheduled to begin in March 2002, with completion targeted for May 2003.
  • The new IT and engineering facilities will be erected at a total cost of $17 million.
  • Montreal businessman Lorne M. Trottier has provided $10 million for the building.
  • The Government of Quebec is contributing $7 million for the new facilities.
  • Lorne Trottier is a two-time graduate from McGill University, where he obtained a BEng in Electrical Engineering in 1970 and an MEng in Engineering in 1973.
  • Trottier is co-founder of Matrox Electronic Systems Ltd., and president of Matrox Graphics Inc., a privately held Montreal-based graphic chip designer and card manufacturer that employs some 1,200 people around the world.
  • To view architectural plans for the Lorne M. Trottier Building, please consult this web site.
Source Site: /it
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