Lands Beyond the Traditional Campus Area

In November 2006, the University owned 420 hectares of land; a hectare is 10,000 square meters, or a square 100 meters on a side.  The land was distributed as follows:

Core Campus                             164 hectares

Research Park                            20

Spencer Hall                               13

Gibbons Lodge                           18

Elginfield Observatory*              205

Total                                          420

*includes Delaware Radio-observatory and Environmental Western Experimental Field Station.

The University extends well beyond the core campus and includes research and teaching sites across the London region, such as the Research Park, Spencer Hall, the Elginfield Observatory, the Environmental Field Station and the Delaware radio-observatory.  For the most part, these lands, which have been acquired by donation or direct purchase, allow for pursuit of unique research or other activities which take special advantage of their off-campus location.   

It is noted that lands at Spencer Hall and the Research Park are ultimately owned by the University, but are operated under long-term leases to the Spencer Hall Foundation and the Research Park Corporation. It is anticipated that these arrangements will continue while the University maintains an interest. In all cases, however, ongoing coordination with those responsible for management of these sites must be undertaken to ensure that their future development respects the general planning principles established by the University.  At the same time, the University must remain aware of opportunities afforded by these properties in furtherance of its mission.  Future needs for research, instructional and or office space may thus be effectively met through location of new facilities as appropriate in these off-campus areas.   

Elginfield Observatory, Delaware Radio-observatory and Environmental Western Experimental Field Station:  Land near Elginfield (120 ha) was initially purchased to house an Observatory associated with the astronomy group hosted by the Faculty of Science. Likewise the Faculty of Science hosts a radio-observatory associated with the atmospheric physics group in 51 ha of land near Delaware.  The Environmental Western Experimental Field Station is located on 33 ha of space north of the city on Wonderland Road.  Both the Elginfield and Wonderland Road farm areas now support other Western research activities.

Gibbons Lodge:  One part of our campus which may be unique in Canada is the 18 ha of land around Gibbons Lodge, including 8 ha which border Richmond Street and surround the President’s residence, and 10 ha of bush and marshy land to the east.  The latter area has trails cut through it and is now available to students and faculty for field work.  Students have been placing tags identifying the species of some of the trees in the area.  In 1993, the University sought to sell these 10 ha for development, but the land was too marshy and subject to environmental protection.  Western intends to keep this land as a nature reserve for students and faculty, and not seek again to sell it for development, even if a change in the condition of the soil were to make that possible. 

Spencer Hall:  The lands and facilities at Spencer Hall on Windermere Road provide accommodation for the Richard Ivey School of Business MBA and Executive programs and will be subject to this use for the foreseeable future. Some lands above the flood plain may be available for expansion to those facilities.

Research Park: The University of Western Ontario Research & Development Park is located on a 20 ha parcel of land northwest of main campus.  The land is owned by the University and leased to the Research Park, which is an affiliated company incorporated in 1989.  The Research Park owns and manages site improvements, two tenant buildings (the Gordon J. Mogenson Building and the National Research Council Integrated Manufacturing Technologies Institute) and a hotel and conference centre (the Windermere Manor).  The Stiller Centre for Technology Commercialization also subleases land for a biotechnology incubator in the Research Park.  In total there are approximately 60 companies and organizations located in the Research Park, which has seen recent site improvements (road, storm water management) to provide for future development.  A second Research Park (Sarnia-Lambton Campus) was established in 2003 at a 40 ha site in the City of Sarnia and is managed by the London organization under contract.

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