Mark Turner, head of St. Michaels University School, speaks from the second-floor balcony to hundreds of students, teachers, parents, alumni and community members who gathered to celebrate the new $15 million Sun Centre building. Travis Paterson/News Staff

Mark Turner, head of St. Michaels University School, speaks from the second-floor balcony to hundreds of students, teachers, parents, alumni and community members who gathered to celebrate the new $15 million Sun Centre building. Travis Paterson/News Staff

$15 million Sun Centre opens at St. Michaels Saanich campus

With its towering windows the Sun Centre features a majestic new dining hall and student common area

New head of school Mark Turner said this must be how the pope feels as he addressed hundreds of students, teachers, family, alumni and community members from the second floor balcony of the new $15 million Sun Centre building at St. Michaels University School.

“This is a building with gravitas, with no expense spared in the details,” Turner said.

With its towering windows the Sun Centre is a majestic new dining hall and student common area on the main floor. It will also host counselling and boarding services and serve as a space for students to gather, learn and socialize at the SMUS campus off Richmond Road in Saanich.

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The Sun Centre is named for 1972 grad and major donor Cliff Sun, who is now the executive director of Kin Hip Metal and Plastic Factory, a large manufacturer in Hong Kong. Funded by donations from the school’s parent and alumni community, it will primarily serve middle and senior school students (Grades 6 to 12).

“I believe it will very quickly become the heart of our campus,” Turner said earlier. “The Sun Centre is a testament to the vision, dedication and leadership of my predecessors Bob Snowden and Andy Rodford, and our board of governors. Our students and our greater community will benefit tremendously from this beautiful space.”

The 27,730-square-foot Sun Centre was designed by Merrick Architecture. Construction began in November 2016.

“I owe much to the education I received at SMUS. I learned how to deal with people from different cultures, the importance of teamwork, the ability to respond to changes, as well as caring for others. These things were often learned through opportunities for social interactions outside the classroom and academic study. This is why I wanted to support the new student centre and dining hall,” Sun said in a release.

About 1,000 students attend SMUS.

reporter@saanichnews.com