April 5th, 2010

Pharmaceutical Sciences/CDRD Building to commence construction this summer

British Columbia is critically underserved in the number of pharmacists per capita. The hospital vacancy rate for budgeted clinical pharmacists is nearly twice that of most provinces. This continuing need for pharmacists in British Columbia and the sustained growth in the fields of pharmaceutical sciences and drug research has presented UBC with an important opportunity to solidify its role as a leader in these fields and upgrade existing obsolete facilities.

Pending Board of Governors approval in April, UBC Properties Trust will begin construction of a new Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences/Centre for Drug Research and Development building in June of this year. The building has been designed by architects Saucier + Perrotte & Hughes Condon Marler in joint venture.

This $155 million state of the art facility to be located across the street from the Life Sciences Centre, will allow the Faculty to expand the current entry class of 152 places by 72 for a total of 224 entry positions and double graduate training. These increases will significantly address BC Ministry of Health projections of severe and worsening provincial pharmacist shortages for the foreseeable future.

The project went before UBC's Advisory Urban Design Panel on February 4, 2010. The Panel gave strong support for the well researched project and felt the building is articulated and innovative. The project was also reviewed by UBC's Development Review Committee on February 25, 2010. A public open house was held on March 3rd in the Life Sciences Building. In addition to the design team members, UBC Properties Trust and Campus and Community Planning representatives, three staff members visited the Open House.

Upon board approval, UBC Properties will immediately commence site preparation and servicing work, as well as bulk excavation for the building foundation. The Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences/Centre for Drug Research and Development building is scheduled to be completed by September 2012.