Last June, the MG360 Institute launched a campaign to build the Morwick Groundwater Research Centre (MGRC), a cutting-edge hub for groundwater studies at the University of Guelph. The campaign kicked off with an initial donation from Ted Morwick, and is now over 60% of the way towards achieving its goal. We invite and encourage people to connect with us to help meet our fundraising target, and are excited about what the MGRC will offer as a space to showcase new technologies, carry out valuable research, and to train the next generation of groundwater science professionals.
Today, we are excited to share that the MGRC has won an “Outstanding Project Award” from Learning By Design, whose Architectural and Interior Design Awards of Excellence program recognizes exceptional educational spaces.
Designed by WalterFedy architects, the MGRC will be built on the same footprint as the existing Bedrock Aquifer Field Facility, minimizing the environmental impact of the renovations. The Learning By Design committee stated that when complete, the MGRC will be “a modern learning environment that exhibits many design attributes that others may emulate.” In particular, the judges indicated that “the Net Zero Carbon approach is commendable, something for which the community can be grateful for, which benefits society as a whole. Preserving the existing barn is tremendously beneficial to the environment, as are the other measures indicated. Exposed structure becomes a theme and a point of continuity between program spaces. The building is appropriately scaled and reflects the nature of the earth-science focus.”
The finished MGRC will be a multi-functional space. It will house two classrooms that can become a larger room for conferences, and a two-story transparent groundwater well in which downhole instruments will be demonstrated. An onsite borehole into the underlying bedrock aquifer will provide a unique hands-on teaching tool, linking lectures to real-world demonstrations. In addition, a rock wall in the atrium will replicate the Silurian dolostone sequence and formation, typical of the local bedrock aquifer used by the City of Guelph for municipal, commercial, and industrial water supply. The MRGC will also house a rock core library, enabling students and professionals to put their research methods to the test. All together, these features will make the MGRC a world-class facility for research, technology demonstration, education, and public outreach. Groundwater is a vital resource to Canadians and to communities across the globe, and the research carried out at the MGRC will help ensure its sustainable future.
The Learning by Design recognition is an exciting affirmation of the value that the MGRC will bring to students, researchers, partners, and the community, and we are keen to keep the campaign momentum going. You can stay tuned to our blog for future updates, learn more about the MGRC here, or reach out to us directly about ways to help our campaign.