SAITSA donates $10 million to SAIT to reignite SAITSA HQ plans

$25 million still needed from the province along with the donation-to-be in SAIT’s hands for a SAITSA HQ.

The SAIT Students’ Association announced today that it is donating $10 million to SAIT to help realize the goal of building a new student centre on campus sited for the south side of the Campus Centre.

In a shared announcement event in the atrium of the Stan Grad Centre at SAIT on Jan. 23, SAITSA presented a plan to transfer $10 million to SAIT – the largest donation from a students’ association to an institute of technology in Western Canada, according to a release from SAIT. 

The funds were collected as a student fee, first levied during the 2007-08 academic year following a student referendum, to fund a new student space on campus.

The donation is a result of the cumulation of the efforts of many student board and executive council members over the years, said SAIT president Dr. David Ross.

“I can’t say how proud I am of the students that have worked year over year to build this – it’s a remarkable accomplishment,” he said.

“This is a movement to celebrate where students have stepped up to help future students.”

SAIT will stay true to the fund’s intended purpose, said Ross.

“The money that will be donated will be the cornerstone for the new student centre, one which will help students for many generations to come,” he said.

What comes next?

As the estimated cost of the campus structure, planned to be sited on the south side of the existing campus centre, is around $35 million, SAIT requires a loan of approximately $25 million from the provincial government to start the project, explained Ross.

“We are waiting on the approval from the province to gain a loan for the rest of the funding,” he said.

“That’s all in front of the Minister right now.”

The $10 million donation could sway opinion towards providing additional funding, said Ryan Morstad, Chair of SAITSA’s student-elected Board of Directors

“With everyone seeing how awesome this reception was, and our record-breaking donation to the school, I really think it will encourage [funding] to come through,” he said.

There are also other potential funding sources, said Morstad.

“We have a great team of our staff working on possible sources as well, and [potentially] some private funding donations as well,” he said.

SAIT is no stranger to completing construction projects, and so is well suited to the task at hand, said Morstad.

“They have built many, many buildings on this campus – new renovations, they’ve done huge renovations, like with John Ware just finishing for example,” he said.

“They know how to handle it better than us – we are in good hands.”

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