Capital costs for UPEI medical school more than double in new estimate
Bigger building resulting in higher costs, says UPEI's interim president
The provincial government has substantially increased its commitment to UPEI's new faculty of medicine, with a proposal for a much larger building than originally planned.
When the plans were announced in 2021, the province committed to a 75,000-square-foot building. Over the course of a 20-year loan, the cost of that building and related infrastructure was estimated to be $50.7 million, including interest on the loan.
But Greg Keefe, UPEI's interim president and vice-chancellor, said it has become clear they'll need more money for a bigger building, which could also help other programs such as nursing, paramedicine and veterinary medicine.
"It's a very integrated program with nursing, with the nurse practitioners, with the psychology program, with paramedicine, and so all that helped grow the footprint. Modern education in medicine involves a lot of simulation technology which is used … not just for med students but also in all those other programs," said Keefe.
The new plan is for a 135,000-square-foot building. Fitted out with the required technology, along with the interest on a 20-year loan, the province is committing $122.7 million. That's a 140 per cent increase.
According to the province's consolidated financial statements for this fiscal year, $72 million was provided to the university to build the new faculty of medicine, in addition to the $50 million already planned for this year, bringing the total one-year contribution to $122.7 million.
In addition, the university has committed to fundraise $10 million.
This is on top of $66 million the province has earmarked for operations over the first six years
The target to welcome the first class of med school students is the fall of 2024.
- A previous version of this story said the province was making a one-year commitment of $122.7 million. In fact, this is a loan that will be paid back over 20 years.Nov 22, 2022 9:39 AM AT
With files from Jessica Doria-Brown