University of Saskatchewan

September 23, 2014   


June 10, 1999

Tomorrow the University of Saskatchewan will put out a request for tenders for the first construction work on Canada’s biggest scientific project in a generation, the $173.5-million Canadian Light Source (CLS) synchrotron project.

The first contract includes site stripping, relocation and installation of underground utility services, installation of a parking lot, fencing of the site, and demolition of a cooling tower.

This site preparation work will be underway by early July. Other construction activities will be put to tender over the coming months, with construction slated to begin on the building foundations by mid-summer. An event to commemorate the laying of the building’s cornerstone is planned for early fall.

It’s anticipated the building that will house the huge synchrotron machine will be complete by December of 2000. Work is already underway to modify the existing linear accelerator that will be used to inject the electrons into the synchrotron. The CLS project is slated to begin operations in late 2003.

The facility will occupy an area larger than a Canadian football field. "It’s more than an acre under a single roof," said Barry Hawkins, CLS project manager and senior project manager with UMA Projects, the project construction management division of the UMA Group.

Incoming U of S President Peter MacKinnon said, "One of the unique challenges of this project is the co-ordination of all of the various stakeholders – such as government funding bodies, university departments, private sector people, and staff of the linear accelerator laboratory -- into a single project delivery team. I think that we are well on the way to successfully doing that."

Staff at the linear accelerator have been working on plans for the synchrotron since 1995. The CLS will be a third-generation light source, fully competitive with the best currently available in the world. The key components – the linear accelerator, a booster ring for acceleration, and the storage ring -- have been designed by the lab.

The CLS will be a fully equipped synchrotron radiation research facility dedicated to providing full service to industrial, governmental and academic users. It will provide a brilliant light source for researchers to "see" matter at the atomic scale. This will give scientists across Canada unprecedented opportunities for state-of-the-art investigations in materials science, medicine, biology, chemistry, physics, and the environmental sciences.

An independent economic impact study estimates the CLS would:

Add almost $122 million to Canada's gross domestic product during construction and $12 million per year once the facility becomes operational.

Provide up to a $66-million boost to Saskatchewan's economy during construction and about $8 million annually afterward.

Create up to 2,000 person-years of employment during construction

Create 200 permanent jobs once in operation

Owned by the U of S and endorsed by 18 other universities, the CLS will be funded from both public and private sources. Information about the CLS is available at the U of S Research web site at:

For more information, contact:

Dr. Dennis Skopik
Acting Director, Canadian Light Source
University of Saskatchewan
(306) 966-6054

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