Client

University of Saskatchewan

Location

Prince Albert, Saskatchewan

The University of Saskatchewan (USask) is recognized as one of the world’s leading research and medical doctoral universities. Located in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, the university set out to expand its campus to neighbouring Prince Albert to provide additional programming to the province’s northern communities. Similar to its main campus, this satellite facility is situated on Treaty 6 territory and the traditional homeland of the Métis.

USask purchased an existing office building for its new campus and transformed approximately 30,000 sq. ft. into a functional learning space. The new school brings together several programs under one roof including nursing, dentistry and medicine – all programs with typically higher Indigenous student enrollment. Combining these programs in a single, better-located facility was key to the university’s northern engagement strategy, as it enables students to live at home as they pursue higher education.

Although there are no student residences on the Prince Albert campus, the two-storey building blends communal and practical spaces to provide a sense of community. The main level includes a dental clinic, a student lounge, a staff lounge and offices, one large classroom, student breakout spaces and a gathering space for smudging ceremonies. The upper level is dedicated to additional classrooms, breakout spaces and a quiet room, while the lower level houses nursing, chemistry and biology labs.

Managing the project from initiation through to closeout, our team worked with the USask project team to lead several design meetings to ensure that all department and program-specific scopes were well-defined and in alignment with project requirements. Our team also managed the move of existing furniture and equipment from First Nation University (FNU), Sask Polytechnic and the Saskatoon USask campus to the new facility. Audiovisual (AV) and information and communications technology (ICT), as well as additional equipment, were also procured to fit-out classrooms and labs.

The Prince Albert campus renovation was well underway by March 2020 and was able to continue largely uninterrupted following the onset of COVID-19 restrictions. However, the planned dental clinic required a redesign to accommodate new COVID-19 related health and safety controls. After reviewing the situation with the entire project team, we proposed a fast-tracked methodology to reduce impacts to the project schedule. The approach helped speed construction, limiting the delay in the delivery of the clinic to just six weeks.

The Colliers Project Leaders team delivered USask’s new campus on budget, with most tasks completed only two weeks later than originally planned, despite the pandemic-related challenges. The re-designed dental clinic was finished in September 2020 and is now taking on students and their patients. The cooperative efforts and strong communication of all involved ensured this project’s success. Now positioned to provide additional quality programming in a way that is inclusive of its northern communities, USask is sure to hold the rank of Saskatchewan’s premier university.

U Sask Prince Albert Campus classroom
U Sask Prince Albert Campus dental clinic