McGill University. Image: Claudio Calligaris.
CBC Radio Canada has obtained a Quebec government report that found 40 per cent of the province’s university buildings are in poor condition, with many even “falling apart.”
The worst cases include McGill University, where 73% of the buildings are said to be in “poor or very poor shape” and in need of immediate repairs. McGill has many buildings from the 1960s and 70s, and others that date back to the 19th century. The October 4 CBC report said that the university has buildings where walls are propped up and others that have to be supported with scaffolding. The Strathcona Anatomy and Dentistry Building, for example, has damaged exterior stonework and is covered in tarps and boards.
Concordia University and Université de Montréal were two other campuses with plenty of buildings badly in need of attention — 60% needing repairs.
However, results varied across the province. The majority of buildings at the Université de Québec network of campuses scored well, and at Laval University in Quebec City only 90% were found acceptable.
The provincial Minister of higher education, Hélène David, said the province will increase its funding to universities for construction and repairs to $1 billion over the next six years. However, at McGill alone, administrators estimate that the repair costs are $1 billion, although the province says the figure is less. The universities are pinning their hopes on getting federal help.
To read the CBC report of October 4, click here.