New liberal arts building moving forward

June 28, 2012

A campus location has been determined for McMaster's new liberal arts building. The  recommendation from the project executive steering committee is to locate the  signature building at the current location of Wentworth House.

The Wentworth House site was always considered a leading contender for the project as  it is identified in the Campus Plan as a building site, provides a central location for  students and creates easy access for members of the public who will be engaged with  students and faculty on a variety of programs. Other parts of campus were considered  but the Wentworth House site was identified as the optimal location.

The $65 million project is made possible by a $45.5 million investment from the  Ontario government, critical early support in the form of a $10 million gift from  Chancellor Lynton (Red) Wilson and a $1 million gift from the McMaster Association of  Part-time Students. The building will be known as L.R. Wilson Hall.

Wentworth House currently houses a number of areas. The University will work closely  with the McMaster Children's Centre to find a new location. The Phoenix is relocating  later this summer to its new home at the Refectory. Graduate students from the  faculties of humanities and social sciences will be moved to temporary space.  Discussions will be held with other groups in the building to find the best possible  solutions for their ongoing needs.

The site recommendation will now move through the formal approval process including  the University Planning Committee and Planning and Building Committee. Once  approved, the detailed design work will be undertaken with construction expected to  begin in the second half of next year.

Wilson Hall will create new teaching and learning spaces to support innovative teaching,  research and community engagement for the faculties of humanities and social  sciences. More than half of McMaster's students take courses within the two faculties.