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Wilfrid Laurier University Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing
April 26, 2017
Canadian Excellence


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Global Innovation Exchange

Global innovation: at Laurier, it all begins with a purple fence

Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing

Aug 31/11| For Immediate Release


Gary Nower, Assistant Vice-President, Physical Resources
519-884-0710 ext. 6210 or


Kevin Crowley, Director, Communications & Public Affairs
(519) 884-0710 ext. 3070 or

WATERLOO – When it’s complete, Wilfrid Laurier University’s Global Innovation Exchange will be a state-of-the-art facility and an iconic representation of Laurier’s leadership role in business and technology – and the first step is a purple fence.

The hoarding fence – to be painted in Laurier’s signature purple – will be erected in mid-September. Site preparation for the Global Innovation Exchange (GIE) building will begin in early September, with the hoarding placed around the site to provide protection from construction activity.

Located on University Avenue at Laurier’s Waterloo campus, the GIE will house the School of Business and Economics and the Department of Mathematics.

Demolition of the former St. Michael’s school on the site will begin later in September and will continue for approximately six weeks. During this six-week period, construction vehicles will use University Avenue to enter and exit the site. Laurier has arranged for the vehicles to avoid the University Avenue entrance during the morning and afternoon rush hour periods between 8 and 9 a.m. and 4 and 5 p.m. to minimize traffic disruption.

Following this phase, design work will continue behind the scenes until the start of construction, which is anticipated to begin in fall 2012. The building will be designed to achieve, at a minimum, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver certification. The university is committed to providing regular updates to the Laurier community and Waterloo residents throughout the design and construction period via the GIE project website: The site includes a photo gallery, regular project updates, answers to frequently asked questions and facility renderings.

The GIE will be a 215,000-square-foot signature facility with a bold presence on University Avenue. Housing the School of Business and Economics and the Department of Mathematics within the GIE will not only allow Laurier to meet the growing demand for enrolment in these programs, it will also enhance synergies between the two areas and expand the university’s ability to deliver integrated and engaged learning to students locally and globally.

In June, John Milloy, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, announced that the provincial government would invest $72.6 million toward the $103-million GIE facility, representing the largest single capital investment in the university’s history. The remaining funds will be raised through the university’s development efforts.

“If it is possible for a building to represent a philosophy and a culture, then the Global Innovation Exchange does that,” said Laurier President and Vice-Chancellor Max Blouw at the time of the announcement. “The partnerships that created it, and the future partnerships it will foster, truly inspire lives of leadership and purpose.”


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