posted on Aug. 15: New student residence construction begins


The west side of campus is the scene of bulldozers, dirt piles, orange vests and hardhats as preparation for the new student residence construction begins.

Fencing continues to go up around the site for the new building and will eventually contain the building's entire footprint.

Digging is underway to produce engineered fill for the area and a trench carrying electrical, fibre optic and telecommunication lines beneath Scholar's Road should be completed by the end of the week. The cable relocation will be completed by the end of the month.

Mary Keyes, associate vice-president student affairs, is pleased that construction has begun.

“The Inter-Residence Council (IRC) student leaders on the user's committee have given thoughtful advice and we believe their ideas have contributed significantly to development of the latest design in shared campus living. This will provide future students with yet another choice for their residence experience.”

The six-storey building that will house about 280 occupants will feature self-contained suites, with each suite containing four bedrooms, two bathrooms, kitchen and living room space. The residence will also include a 720-sq. metres (8,000-sq. feet) dining hall to service students from neighbouring residences as well as provide a unique dining location for the campus community.

The site incorporates much of what was a parking lot at the back of Matthews Hall and stretches south across Scholar's Road. The building's dining wing will be built perpendicular to the residence and take in Scholar's Road, extending as far as, but not abutting, the Clarke Centre smoke stack. Some trees have been removed to construct a new fire route and to accommodate the new residence.

On-site supervisor John Piron, of O. P. McCarthy & Associates Inc., said he, grounds co-ordinator Len Van Hoffen and the landscape architect are attempting to preserve a large catalpa speciosa situated between Matthews Hall and Bates Residence. Landscaping plans being developed for the area surrounding the new residence include a walkway, seating circle and a variety of plant materials including trees.

Piron noted that people coming on campus from the west side will have to build in more time as the construction site makes access more difficult.