The University of Winnipeg says it plans to build a new, multi-million dollar addition to its downtown campus next year.

U of W administration said in a release Tuesday that Leatherdale Hall will serve as a multi-use space for students and alumni alike.

The 5,877-square-foot, two-storey building will be home to a canteen, two high school classrooms and a common room with a lecture area for presentations. "Tony's Canteen" will seat 150 and can also be turned into a conference room or reception area.

"In times past, 'Tony's' was the central hub of life at United College and the Collegiate, where teachers met with their students and each other and even held small seminars around the tables," Rob Bend, dean of the Collegiate, said in a statement.

"We are excited to rejuvenate the spirit of Tony's and offer students and the broader community new places to meet and connect."

The build will be made possible, in part, due to a $2.5 million donation from Douglas W. and Louise Leatherdale.

Leatherdale Hall Tony's Canteen

Tony's Canteen (pictured) will give students, educators and alumni a place to gather and buy food. (University of Winnipeg)

"Leatherdale Hall will be a magnificent offshoot to Convocation Hall and will become an important fixture for UWinnipeg and Collegiate students alike, much like it was in my days," Douglas Leatherdale said in a statement.

"It will also serve as a wonderful meeting place for the surrounding community and become a vibrant centre of academic life in the heart of downtown Winnipeg."

Administration said they hope to raise another $1.5 million through fundraising to help make the building a reality.

Construction is set to start in the fall of 2016 and be completed in early 2017.