Funding secured for JMSB construction

barbara black

The long-awaited government funding to build the new John Molson School of Business was promised in the Quebec budget for 2006-07. Finance Minister Michel Audet made the announcement on March 23.

That means construction at the corner of Guy St. and de Maisonneuve Blvd. can go ahead as soon as possible, according to Dean Jerry Tomberlin.

“We were ready to go last fall,” he said in an interview March 29. “It has been ‘imminent’ every year since I’ve been here. The major planning was done in 2001-02. We’re the last [business school] in the city to get a new building.”

The new structure is a “twin” to the EV building at Guy and Ste. Catherine Sts., designed by the same architects. It will be full of much-needed classrooms, including a 300-seat lecture theatre, and has been designed to bring students and faculty members together, but also to give them the chance to work separately.

Audet’s budget speech didn’t specify the amount allocated to the JMSB project, saying only that $300 million would be provided for it, new college and vocational programs, information technology infrastructure and labs for high schools.

President Claude Lajeunesse welcomed the announcement in a statement. “By making this important financial commitment, the Quebec government is reaffirming the quality and importance of the JMSB to the future of this province,” he said.

Lajeunesse also hailed the budget for the seven-per-cent increase in support for the postsecondary sector. However, he agreed with CREPUQ, which represents all the Quebec universities, that Quebec universities need more funding overall.