LETHBRIDGE: The University of Lethbridge officially opened its new downtown facility Thursday morning.
The Dr. Foster James Penny Building, located at 324 5th Street South, was donated to the university by Jim and Hazel Penny. It's named after their son, who passed away at the age of 44 in 1992 after a five year battle with Lou Gehrig's Disease.
Following the ribbon cutting, UofL President Dr. Mike Mahon went over how the new 30,000 square foot facility will be used, "It's going to provide us an opportunity to expand our services in the area of alumni relations, we have new art gallery space, we new meeting space, we have new space for research."
It was also pointed out that the meeting space in the building will be available to the public for community events.
Mahon also went over the importance of having a base in the heart of Lethbridge, "Downtowns are very important for cities, they ensure the vibrancy of the city. I know Lethbridge has had a strong, strong commitment to continuing to build downtown Lethbridge, and so we see this as our contribution to the city of Lethbridge and downtown Lethbridge. We think having more and more students in downtown Lethbridge as well as our faculty and staff will enhance the vibrancy of downtown Lethbridge. We also know that it will bring an opportunity for us to connect more with the city through this building."
The donated facility carries a value of about $2.3-million dollars, and Mahon noted that they have put roughly $2-million dollars worth of retro-fits into the structure.