Today I attended the official opening of the multi-purpose Arts and Sciences Centre at UBC’s Okangan campus. This impressive building houses classrooms, research and teaching labs, offices, student commons, and two large lecture theatres.
The Government of British Columbia invested over $27 million for the centre. This essential support will allow the Okanagan campus to accommodate a growing number of students and greatly enhance the learning and research capacity of UBC.
A nationally and internationally renowned forensic psychology centre in this building houses some of the top scholars in forensic psychology and equipment to study human behaviour that would put all of those crime investigation TV shows to shame. Researchers at the centre are conducting ground-breaking research that will facilitate a better understanding of crime and that has practical applications to help improve the criminal justice system.
A new teaching and research clinic will provide interdisciplinary mental and psychosocial health services to individuals and families in the community. Nursing, social work, and psychology graduate students will engage in supervised hands-on learning to assess and treat children with mental illness. This team-based approach will fulfill an unmet need in the Okanagan Valley – providing access to affordable psychology services and helping to solve a shortage of mental illness health care professionals.
These are just a few examples of new opportunities for scholarship and connectivity that have taken root and are flourishing from here.
This is the second official building opening at the Okanagan campus I took part in this year. UBC’s Engineering, Management, and Education building — which at 186,000 square feet is the largest project to be completed as part of the Okanagan campus construction program — was officially opened January 31.