C/O McMaster Daily News

Innis library to be replaced by the McLean Centre for Collaborative Discovery

After 46 years, McMaster University’s Innis Library closed its doors on March 19, 2020. As the primary library for the Degroote School of Business, Innis Library in Kenneth Taylor Hall was one of McMaster’s smaller libraries. 

C/O McMaster Library

The decision to close Innis Library came after a gift from the McLean family to spearhead a new project of more than $50 million. In place of Innis Library, a new building known as the McLean Centre for Collaborative Discovery will be built as an addition to the DeGroote School of Business.

Aside from the new building, the gift will also be combined with other private, public and university funding sources. 

Three generations of the McLean family studied various subjects at McMaster and on behalf of the family, Paul McLean expressed that the gift came from the positive impact education at McMaster has had on the family’s lives. 

“We looked at what was most important to us, and we’re focusing our efforts on the priorities we identified. Education is certainly one of our highest priorities because it touches everything,” said McLean. 

In July of 2019, McMaster announced that the Toronto-based architecture company Sweeny&Co was selected to design the new building.

“According to the firm, modern postsecondary buildings like the McLean Centre are moving beyond chair-and-podium configurations to more closely resemble the collaborative spaces found at today’s leading companies,” the University wrote within its announcement. 

“According to the firm, modern postsecondary buildings like the McLean Centre are moving beyond chair-and-podium configurations to more closely resemble the collaborative spaces found at today’s leading companies,” the University wrote within its announcement. 

McMaster states that the McLean Centre for Collaborative Discovery is more than just a new building. It will also begin a new teaching model for business students at the university. 

The university will transform the Bachelor of Commerce program by allowing students to connect with working business leaders, instructors and students from all disciplines. McMaster stated that emphasis will be placed on problem-based discovery, interdisciplinary study and interaction with business leaders.

“Under the new model we’re creating, a lab manager, an engineer and an ethicist could all be joining business students to work on the same business problem, for example. This new space will be a home for our undergraduate students, where they can develop the soft and hard skills that will prepare them to thrive in a market that is constantly bombarded by such changes as artificial intelligence and blockchain,” said Len Wavermen, dean of the Degroote School of Business.

The new building is designed to be nine-stories high and a library will be reopened on the third floor. Currently, the building is slated to open in 2023-2024.

Although the building is an addition to the Degroote School of Business, the university also stated that students from all faculties will be able to use the space.

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