Media Release | May 1, 2014

UBC Engineering Student Centre breaks ground

Construction of the UBC Engineering Student Centre (ESC) begins in earnest today with the official ground breaking. The $5.22 million, 10,060 square foot, two-story building will be used by engineering undergraduates for group work, learning, socializing, extracurricular events and other activities. The building will be open to all engineering students, and will help promote cross-disciplinary learning and networking among students.

Alumni, students, faculty and administration come together for the Engineering Student Centre groundbreaking. L-R: Bowinn Ma, Veronica Knott, Elizabeth Croft, Marc Parlange, Ron Loewen, Andrew Carne and Andrea Palmer.

Funding for the building has been a community effort. In 2007 UBC Engineering students led a referendum to increase their fees to support the development of the proposed Engineering Student Centre. It passed with 75 per cent voting in favour. The remaining funding – $2.5 million – has been raised from more than 800 individual donors and 12 industry partners who have contributed more than $1.8 million. Of those 800 donors, more than 95 per cent of them are UBC Engineering alumni.

“The collaboration between students, alumni, and our community has been vital to this project’s success,” says Applied Science Dean Marc Parlange. “I would like to extend my thanks to everyone who has contributed to the ESC. I look forward to celebrating the official opening of the building with you later in 2015.”

The ESC will be built on the site of the former student clubhouse, The Cheeze Factory (the Cheeze), one of UBC’s original 1919 buildings. First called the Farm Dairy Building, the building housed a classroom and laboratory for cheese making. The production of cheese ended in 1966, and the building was subsequently used for storage and poultry research. When the Faculty of Applied Science moved from the north to the south side of campus, the Engineering Undergraduate Society (EUS) moved into the building in 1981, and it was called The Cheeze Factory in recognition of its past.

To read the colourful history, visit:


ErinRose Handy
UBC Faculty of Applied Science

Tags: APSC, engineering, Student learning

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