In November 1998, the Calgary Herald reported that the university had received a provincial grant of $14 million to build the Calgary Centre for Innovative Technology. Planning for the new building over the next few years shows the projected footprint and total cost of the building fluctuating between $18 to 25 million (with and without equipment), and 10,000 square meters to 5,830; the completed building eventually cost $35 million including grants and private funding, with a footprint of 6,460 square meters.
The building was designed as an adaptable, interdisciplinary laboratory facility that would encourage research in the areas of bio-engineering, intelligent technologies, infrastructure research, and natural resource technologies.
The CCIT ground-breaking was on June 4, 2001, and the grand opening was October 8, 2002. Many of the labs were named after the major donors, including Schlumberger, EnCana, Shell Canada, and BP Canada.