posted on July 13: Arthur Bourns Building renovations underway


[img_inline align=”right” src=”” caption=”Arthur Bourns Building”]Renovations to the north wing of the Arthur Bourns Building (ABB) began this week.

The renovations are part of a major redevelopment of ABB which includes the building of state-of-the art chemistry labs. See New construction projects to begin this summer.

The first phase of the project is the building of a service tunnel running north from the north side of ABB to the south side of the E.T. Clarke Centre (CUC). This tunnel is necessary to supply more utilities to ABB.

The tunnel itself will be constructed in two stages. The first stage will be to construct the tunnel directly north from the north wing of ABB to where the ramp to the loading dock of ABB starts descending.

The second stage will be to extend this tunnel to the centre of the south overhead door of the CUC. This last stage has to be done within a short time period and construction will take place around the clock, project manager Joe Medeiros said.

This has to be done to minimize down time should any piece of equipment in the CUC break down during the last stage of the tunnel construction, he added. This the only way to take large equipment in or out of this building.

Wooden fencing is being put up around this construction area and pedestrians will not have access to the north doors of ABB.

While the first stage of the tunnel construction is under way pedestrians will be able to access H.G. Thode Library along the south side of CUC.

During the second stage of the tunnel construction — likely the first week of August — pedestrians coming from east campus will not be able to access H.G. Thode Library between ABB and CUC. Instead they are asked to walk around CUC or walk through the John Hodgins Engineering (JHE) building, JHE annex and through the first floor of ABB to the west exit.

Once construction on the second stage of the tunnel is complete, pedestrians will again be able to access the library along the south side of CUC.

Throughout this period of tunnel construction the area will be extremely busy with construction equipment moving to and from the site. All pedestrians are asked to be cautious and aware, Medeiros said.

“We strongly recommend that people stay away from this construction area. It is also recommended that pedestrians use other routes to access ABB and the library,” he added.

Construction within ABB will begin at about the same time as the tunnel construction with work in the existing west chemistry wing beginning first. Some of this work is minor but will help build a better working arrangement within these labs. The work within this area must be completed before the fall term begins.

The work on the north wing of ABB will start once geology & geography personnel have left this wing and moved to their newly-renovated space on the third floor of the General Sciences Building (See General Sciences Building's third floor gets updated.).

The renovations in this north wing will be extensive, Medeiros said. Mechanical and electrical systems will be totally removed, walls will be demolished and asbestos will be abated. New state-of-the-art chemistry labs will be built with new fume hoods and electrical and mechanical systems installed.

Ira McDonald Construction Ltd. is the general contractor for this project. The firm will try to minimize disruptions as much as possible, but noise and vibration may be difficult to eliminate, Medeiros said.

Atkinson Engineering Ltd. is the consultant on this project and has been involved in many projects on campus, including their latest completed project, T16, the former teacher's college building. They are also the consultants for the nuclear research building project, the psychology project and they are working on the materials research facility, which is a four-storey addition to ABB's west wing, due to start this fall.

Questions about this work should be directed to project manager Medeiros by e-mail at or by phone at 905-525-9140 ext. 27789.

The project co-ordinator is Leah Allan from the Department of Chemistry.