Downtown building: construction begins
October 17, 2019
HEC Montréal has started construction of its new building in the downtown business district. The traditional ground-breaking ceremony took place on Thursday, October 17, at the site on the block bounded by De La Gauchetière, Beaver Hall, René-Lévesque and St-Alexandre.
The event was attended by Hélène Desmarais, Chair of the HEC Montréal Board of Directors, Federico Pasin, HEC Montréal Director, Jean-François Roberge, Minister of Education and Higher Education, Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of Economy and Innovation, Chantal Rouleau, Minister for Transport and Minister Responsible for the Metropolis and the Montréal Region, Robert Beaudry, Montréal City Councillor for the Saint-Jacques District and Executive Committee Member Responsible for Economic and Commercial Development, Housing and Design, and several representatives of the HEC Montréal community.
“A new decade is at our door; the world is evolving rapidly, and private- and public-sector needs to meet these changes are also evolving,” noted Ms. Desmarais. “Universities must have the tools to keep them at the forefront of these social transformations, and be able to give socio-economic players the means to keep Quebec at the head of the pack.”
“We are very excited to be coming back to downtown Montréal, as it will help us strengthen our already strong connections with the business community,” said Federico Pasin. “It will also be an opportunity to expand our research and knowledge transfer activities in areas such as entrepreneurship, artificial intelligence and the user experience.”
Anchored in the business community
The new building, measuring 24,107 gross square metres, is to open in spring 2022. It had become necessary because of the severe shortage of space in existing HEC Montréal facilities.
It will house programs for practising professionals, such as the EMBA and MBA, along with executive education (École des dirigeants) programs for professionals and executives, and certain specialized graduate diplomas and certificates.
It will also be home to activities carried out in close collaboration with the business community, in particular those of CDL-Montréal, Tech3Lab and the National Bank | HEC Montréal Entrepreneurship Institute.
A centre for knowledge transfer and co-innovation bringing together several research and knowledge transfer units will also be housed at the new address.
Support from government and donors
The project, a considerable investment for the School, was made possible with financial assistance from the Quebec government and the HEC Montréal Foundation.
Michel Patry, President and CEO of the HEC Montréal Foundation, emphasized donors’ important role:
“We want to thank them most sincerely for their support for this project bringing together different stakeholders, one that will benefit the next generation of leaders, the metropolis and society as a whole. We also want to thank future donors, knowing that we will have to continue working to realize such a huge project.”
An economic development tool
Jean-François Roberge, Minister of Education and Higher Education, noted that the Quebec government’s support for this project represents “concrete action to support our young people and our institutions of higher education.” The Minister praised the School’s ability to respond “in an innovative and efficient way to the needs of its constantly growing clientele.”
“One of our government’s priorities is to build more bridges between the university and research communities and Quebec firms,” said Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of Economy and Innovation.
“Through the bridges it intends to build with the community, this new hub of exchange and innovation will prove to be an important asset for our largest city,” said Chantal Rouleau, Minister for Transport and Minister Responsible for the Metropolis and the Montréal Region.
Smooth integration and sustainable development
Every effort will be made to harmonize the HEC Montréal and adjacent St. Patrick’s Basilica sites. Seamless landscaping between the two will turn the block into a welcoming and safe public space, open to the community. In addition, the library, common areas, cafeteria, indoor garden and terrace on the 8th floor of the building will be light-filled spaces accessible to all.
HEC Montréal’s new building in the downtown business district has also been registered with the Canada Green Building Council, and is aiming for LEED Gold certification.