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Wallace McCain Learning Centre Opens

An $8-million gift from Dr. Margaret McCain and her late husband Dr. Wallace McCain made the Centre possible.

Dal’s newest student space was a flurry of activity in mid-October as students, faculty, staff and special guests celebrated the official opening of the Wallace McCain Learning Commons, a brand new 13,600 square foot space connected to the Life Sciences Centre (LSC).

The space hosts the Science Academic Resource Centre for peer-to-peer support, as well as office hours for science liaison librarians and features group study rooms, collaborative workspaces computer workstations and Dalhousie Libraries resources.

Designed by Harvey Architecture with Richard White as lead architect, it is bright, spacious and comfortable. It’s also a LEED Gold candidate, featuring a partial green roof accessible from the lawn next to the Henry Hicks Building, LED lighting throughout (a first for Dalhousie), and an ultra-efficient system for heating and cooling. Its eye-catching copper exterior—which will eventually change from its bright penny colour to a green patina—also offers a new focal point for entering campus from Coburg Road.

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Nick Pearce Photo

None of this would have been possible without the generous support of Dr. Margaret McCain and her late husband, Dr. Wallace McCain. Their $8-million donation to the university, announced shortly after Wallace’s passing in 2011, funded the development and construction of the new facility. “It was because Wallace recognized, as I do and as I feel this country does, that Dalhousie is one of the top institutions of higher learning in Canada, and we wanted to be part of keeping that reputation of excellence,” said Dr. McCain.

To read an expanded version of this story, see A Student Space Where Education ‘Blooms’