Eduvation Blog

Trends in Campus Construction

This week, Ken talks to leaders from 14 Ontario universities about the latest new construction and renovations on campus, and extrapolates some major trends in campus construction, which reflect institutional priorities and new trends in student services.

Major Facelifts: Laurentian University has just completed a $34 M campus renewal program, renovating 9 buildings and virtually every classroom. The University of Windsor has closed campus roads to traffic, and replaced parking lots and dilapidated buildings with green space, pedestrian pathways and outdoor furniture. OCAD University is undertaking the renewal and expansion of 150,000 sq ft at its downtown “Creative City Campus”.

Downtown Satellites: The University of Windsor has renovated the Windsor Armouries to house its School of Creative Arts and Music faculties, the former Greyhound Bus Depot to hold its Film program, and the former Windsor Star building to house the Centre for Professional and Executive Education and the Social Work program. OCAD will be opening an extension campus in the Waterfront “City of the Arts”, and will be opening the Mirvish-Gehry Centre for Visual Art & Art History.

Extroverted Social Space: Western University has added significant capacity for student social and study space, in residences, academic and administrative buildings. Ryerson University has opened its new remarkable new Student Learning Centre, “the library of the future,” with distinct layouts and environments on each floor. Lakehead and Trent are breaking ground on new Student Centres. Queen’s has added two new residences, Brant House and Smith House. Lakehead has opened a new residence and cafeteria building in Orillia. Laurentian has a new Great Hall.

Student Services: Lakehead and Laurentian are building new one-stop centres. Queen’s is integrating all of its student wellness services in one location, in the former Phys Ed building. OCAD is building a new Indigenous Cultural Centre. Laurentian is just finishing a new Indigenous Sharing and Learning Centre. Lakehead has created a new international Students Centre.

Libraries: Algoma University has just completed renovations to its library. OCAD is expanding its library three-fold, to create a new “Library of the Future” with collaborative space. Trent is hoping to do a major retrofit of the Bata Library, an iconic but 50-year-old building.

Flexible Classrooms: Algoma is planning to renovate its main building to create a more student-centred campus. Laurentian has retrofitted virtually all of its Sudbury classrooms with half a dozen LCD displays, flexible seating and tables. Western is renovating its oldest building, University College, to make it more modern, and experimental new active learning spaces have proven very popular with faculty and students.

Entrepreneurial Spaces:  Many campuses are building space on campus for incubators, accelerators, makerspaces and research parks. Western has its Propel accelerator. Queen’s is building a new Innovation incubator for the faculty of Engineering. Ryerson has the Launch Zone in its new SLC. UOIT is constructing a new $100 M Centre for Advanced Research, Innovation & Entrepreneurship. Trent is developing a new 100-acre Research & Innovation Park to focus on Clean Tech. Brock University has just received federal funding to create a new innovation centre.

STEM Space: Brock opened its Cairns Building two years ago, with 271 state-of-the-art labs. uWindsor has a new Engineering building. Carleton is building a new Health Sciences building. Laurentian has its new $20 M Vale Living with Lakes Centre. UOIT has broken ground on a new Infomatics Research building, to open Fall 2017. uOttawa has built the Advanced Research Complex, including the largest Photonics centre in Ontario and Canada’s only accelerated mass spectrometer, and is about to start building a new STEM centre. Western is building a new 100,000 sq ft Engineering building.

Professional Faculties: Lakehead has just completed renovating the former Port Arthur Collegiate for its new Faculty of Law. Brock is building a $22 M addition to its Goodman School of Business. Laurentian has completed its new $45 M MacEwan School of Architecture.

Overall, these campus construction trends reflect some long-term program trends, and new emphasis on student services.

Ryerson Student Learning Centre video

uWindsor Engineering Building video 

uWindsor Downtown Campuses video

uWindsor Campus Time Lapse video

Next we’ll turn our attention to higher ed social media again, looking at some recent memes and of course our 2016 Holiday Special is coming soon! For exclusive early access, subscribe to our free email newsletter.

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