VANCOUVER - Students and faculty at Emily Carr University have designs on a new Vancouver campus.
The art-and-design university is bursting at the seams at its unique Granville Island location, and now the provincial government is investing $113 million to help it relocate.
The university's home has been amid the blend of industrial and market activities on Granville Island for more than 30 years, but it will soon be moving to a former industrial area on Great Northern Way in Vancouver.
As she announced the funding, Premier Christy Clark told a crowd the university will be equipping students to do things that no one has yet imagined.
"Our government is committed to making sure that this institution becomes one of the greatest intuitions for the arts," she announced to the crowd.
"This is a big day for all of us who've worked hard to make sure this university expands and grows and meets the great potential that it can."
The university was originally designed for 800 students but currently has 1,800 students.
Emily Carr Chancellor Jake Kerr said they've had to turn away a lot of potential from the university.
"Literally, our space constraints force us to turn down over 50 per cent of all qualified undergraduate candidates and 75 per cent of our qualified graduate candidates."
More than 92 per cent of the university's graduates are employed, he said.
"They're highly sought after by companies such as Lululemon, Sony Pictures, Imageworks, Apple, Google and dozens of other household names."
The government will pay much of the building's total $134 million cost.
Construction should be completed by July 2016 on a campus that is expected to be a new social, cultural, educational and economic centre in what is now a mostly industrial area of the city.
Kerr said the government funding is an "extremely generous gift."
"We recognize the economy of B.C. has been tough — it's a hell of a lot better than anywhere else — but getting $100 million for a university is really quite remarkable."
Bill Bennett, the minister of community, sport and cultural development, said the students who graduate from the school will have a large impact on the economy.
The former mining minister who knows about extracting resources from B.C. said Emily Carr graduates have limitless potential for the economy.
"There's a natural resource that's in play in this school that is far more valuable and far more sustainable that any of those resources."
Last year, Emily Carr University was awarded the Red Dot Design ranking, which recognized the school as one of the most innovative art and design universities worldwide.
The new facility will have four main areas and accommodate over 1,800 students.
Take a tour of Emily Carr University's current campus: