MONTRÉAL, Oct. 17, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ – HEC Montréal started construction of its new building in the business district this morning, with the traditional ground-breaking ceremony. The event was attended by Hélène Desmarais, Chair of the HEC Montréal Board of Directors, Federico Pasin, HEC Montréal Director, Jean-François Roberge, Minister of Education and Higher Education, Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of Economy and Innovation and Minister Responsible for the Lanaudière Region, Chantal Rouleau, Minister for Transport and Minister Responsible for the Metropolis and the Montréal Region, and Robert Beaudry, Montréal City Councillor for the Saint-Jacques district, Executive Committee member Responsible for Economic and Commercial Development, Housing and Design, and several representatives of the HEC Montréal community.
“A new decade is at our door; the world is evolving rapidly, and private- and public-sector needs to meet these changes are also evolving,” noted Ms. Desmarais, Chair of the HEC Montréal Board of Directors. “Universities must have the tools to keep them at the forefront of these social transformations, and be able to give socio-economic players the means to keep Quebec at the head of the pack.”
Even closer connections with the business community
“We are very excited to be coming back to downtown Montréal, as it will help us strengthen our already strong connections with the business community,” said HEC Montréal Director Federico Pasin. “It will also be an opportunity to expand our research and knowledge transfer activities in areas such as entrepreneurship, artificial intelligence and the user experience.”
The new building, needed given the serious shortage of space at the School, will house both research and teaching facilities. The focus will be on programs for practising professionals, such as the MBA, along with certain specialized graduate diplomas and certificates. Executive education (École des dirigeants) programs, developed specifically for professionals and executives, will be also moved there when the building opens in Spring 2022.
A centre for knowledge transfer and co-innovation bringing together several research and knowledge transfer units will also be housed at the new address, to help strengthen connections with the business community.
An important asset for Quebec’s economic development
“With these cutting-edge facilities, and the fact that they are located in the business district, HEC Montréal is responding in an innovative and efficient way to the constantly growing needs of its clientele. Everyone who will be teaching, studying and working in such a high-quality environment is sure to be even more highly motivated to reach their goals. For the government, this is another concrete action to support our young people and our institutions of higher education. I am very proud to be associated with it,” said Jean-François Roberge, Minister of Education and Higher Education.
“One of our government’s priorities is to build more bridges between the university and research communities and Quebec firms,” explained Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of Economy and Innovation and Minister Responsible for the Lanaudière region. “That is why we are supporting the construction of this new building, as it will foster innovation synergy by housing applied research and knowledge transfer units, whose work can only benefit Quebec businesses.”
“While respecting the architectural heritage of yesterday and today, HEC Montréal will be located in an environment steeped in history, at the heart of a dynamic business district. Through the bridges it intends to build with the community, this new hub of exchange and innovation will prove to be an important asset for our largest city,” said Chantal Rouleau, Minister for Transport and Minister Responsible for the Metropolis and the Montréal Region.
The new HEC Montréal building will boast 27 classrooms, a 300-seat auditorium and a conference and event centre. It will also be home to activities carried out in close collaboration with the business community, in particular those of CDL-Montréal, a program for supporting scientific start-ups with significant growth potential, and branches of the National Bank | HEC Montréal Entrepreneurship Institute and Tech3Lab, a user-experience laboratory.
An entirely revitalized city block
For the Montréal community, the construction of this new building next to St. Patrick’s Basilica will be an opportunity to completely revitalize the city block.
“We are very happy to welcome the HEC Montréal building in the heart of downtown. It is sure to bring new energy to the area and encourage the sharing of ideas among researchers, students and professionals,” said Robert Beaudry, City Councillor for the Saint-Jacques district and Executive Committee member Responsible for Economic and Commercial Development, Housing and Design.
Every effort will be made to harmonize the HEC Montréal and Basilica sites. Seamless landscaping between the two will turn the block into a welcoming and safe public space, open to the community. In addition, the library, common areas, cafeteria, indoor garden and terrace on the 8th floor of the building will be light-filled spaces accessible to all.
The total cost of the project will be $235.2 million. The Quebec government is contributing $108.5 million, with another $87.4 million to come from HEC Montréal and $39.3 million from the HEC Montréal Foundation.
“We want to thank our donors most sincerely for their support for this project bringing together different stakeholders, one that will benefit the next generation of leaders, the metropolis and society as a whole,” said Michel Patry, President and CEO of the HEC Montréal Foundation. “We also want to thank future donors, knowing that we will have to continue working to realize such a huge project. It is truly remarkable to see a building like this take shape before our eyes, and to know that it will open up all kinds of new opportunities for collaboration with businesses, partners and HEC Montréal alumni.”
Sustainable development and responsible construction
HEC Montréal’s new building in the downtown business district has been registered with the Canada Green Building Council, and is aiming for LEED Gold certification. Numerous steps will be taken toward this goal, in particular the use of geothermal technology. No fewer than 30 geothermal wells will make it possible to reduce energy consumption for air conditioning and heating – by about 40% for heating, in fact. The building will also feature green roofs and landscaping to boost biodiversity. In addition, the outdoor parking lot will be replaced with indoor parking and charging stations for electric vehicles, eliminating a heat island. And these are only some of the specific steps being taken to ensure that the new structure is built in a responsible manner.
This new downtown building will bring HEC Montréal physically closer to the heart of Montréal’s business district and at the same time offer high-quality spaces for the community.
About HEC Montréal
HEC Montréal is an internationally renowned business school, with some 14,000 students, and trains more than 7,000 executives and managers every year. The School holds many prestigious accreditations, and offers over 100 programs of study from the bachelor’s to doctoral levels. It is one of the most active business schools in Canada in terms of research, thanks to 23 research and knowledge transfer units and 31 research chairs, including 7 Canada Research Chairs and 1 industrial chair. With a faculty of 293, HEC Montréal offers programs in several languages and attracts students from 156 countries. Since its founding in 1907, the School has trained more than 91,000 students in all fields of management.