To Encourage Experiential Learning and Collaborative Research

Carleton University announced Monday that it has begun construction work on a $52-million Health Sciences Building that will include the latest technology in high-quality undergraduate teaching labs.

The new open-concept research labs will provide greater access to experiential learning opportunities for students while encouraging interdisciplinary collaboration and closer interactions within departments.

new.building1The seven-storey, 120,000-square-foot building designed by Montgomery Sisam and NXL Architects will house Neuroscience and the new Health Sciences Department. Occupancy is set for August 2017.

Chris Carruthers, health-care consultant, former chief of staff at the Ottawa Hospital and vice-chair of Carleton’s Board of Governors, has been leading the charge on fundraising to outfit the laboratories with essential and leading-edge technology, as well as student aid and internships for students. He notes the university has developed extensive programs that offer students everything they need to work at the interface of research and policy in the health sector.

Key Facts:

  • Researchers will collaborate on topics that include infectious and chronic diseases, prenatal influences and healthy aging.
  • The Bachelor of Health Sciences program and the Neuroscience and Mental Health program have grown quickly over recent years. The new building will be strategically designed to accommodate future growth.
  • Carleton’s plan for its campus involves phasing out surface parking lots to make room for grass areas and space that engages the public. The new Health Sciences Building is a step in that direction. 


“The new Health Sciences Building will be a great addition to our campus as we continue to provide the best research facilities possible for our researchers and our students. The building will house lab-intensive programs which will be accommodated with large, open labs — rather than small rooms.’’ Roseann O’Reilly Runte, president of Carleton University.

“Matters are urgent in health care. We need new approaches across the board and we need them today. In this building, we will be preparing the next generation to solve some of the most difficulty health challenges of our time.’’  Chris Carruthers, vice-chairman of the Board of Governors.

“The new building will be ready by the time the numbers in the Health Sciences program require the new facilities. We continue to look ahead and plan for future growth across campus.’’ Darryl Boyce, assistant vice-president (Facilities Management and Planning).

“It is a very flexible learning space. The Health Sciences program, just like many programs in the Faculty of Science, has labs and tutorials built into programs beginning in first year. Students work in smaller groups and they can interact and do more. In second year, they move on to even more hands-on workshops and labs.’’ Susan Aitken, chair, Department of Health Sciences.

“New faculty members arriving at Carleton see this as a very exciting opportunity, as it is the most current way to design research space. They are coming out of institutions with the expectation of this kind of openness. They are excited because they have already experienced the kind of opportunity it affords.’’ Malcolm Butler, dean of the Faculty of Science.

“The idea is that many researchers will be sharing those large spaces. It will make it easier for research groups to expand and contract over time. Because we are all going to be working in that same space, it will make cross-pollination between labs and researchers much easier.’’ John Stead, chair of the Department of Neuroscience.

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For more information:

Steven Reid
Media Relations Officer
Carleton University
613-520-2600 ext. 8718

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