The University of Calgary continued the rapid expansion of its campus in 1968 with the official opening of the Education Complex in October. The $5 million complex included a 14-storey tower and 3-storey classroom block which was loaded with $1 million in new equipment and facilities designed to train better teachers who were more conversant with modern hardware and techniques of their profession. The Calgary Herald marveled at the wonders of the new building which included “micro-teaching classrooms”
equipped with closed circuit television and video-tape equipment which allowed students to be viewed or taped while presenting practice lessons and then critiqued by their peers and instructor. A basement control room, “which would do justice to the starship Enterprise”, allowed movies or slides to be broadcast to one or many of the television screens in the building. The new buildings also boasted language and science laboratories, a library instruction room, and computer equipment which would permit increasing emphasis on computer-assisted learning and teaching.
Designed to accommodate more than 3000 students, the 251,500 square foot education complex initially housed political science and social work in addition to the Faculty of Education. It was anticipated that these other programs would move out of the building by the early 1970s and the 35 classroom block would be expanded to accommodate the growth in student numbers. Those expansion plans were not realized.
The new complex was opened by Dr Andrew Leo Doucette who had served as the first head of the Faculty of Education at the University of Alberta, Calgary Branch, the first Director of University of Alberta, Calgary, and the Associate Dean of Education at University of Alberta, Calgary during the years 1947-1961. During his years as an administrator Dr Doucette worked strenuously for an autonomous University of Calgary. He was awarded an honorary degree at the University of Calgary’s first convocation after autonomy.