Details of long-range space plan taking shape
As you may have read in the February 23 issue of Western News, plans are now well underway for $230-million worth of expansion, renovation and new construction projects over the next seven years. Between now and 2013, this will entail one of the largest multi-year space planning investments in Western’s history.
Three priorities are driving these changes to our campus. One is to accommodate graduate student enrolment expansion, which over the next five years will see Western welcome 425 additional PhD students and 320 more Masters candidates to campus.
A related priority is the need to accommodate the increased research activity that will arise due to growing graduate student enrolment. The third priority is to consolidate and improve student services, which will affect the Registrar’s Office, financial aid, career counseling, services for students with disabilities, admissions, recruitment, services for new students, First Nations services and recreation services.
The thrust behind these changes is to strengthen Western’s ability to provide the best student experience within a research-intensive environment. Student activities will become a higher priority for space allocated at the core of campus, and emphasis will be placed on creating space that promotes a sense of community and interaction among faculty, staff and students. Another important consideration will be respecting the architectural style and green space that has come to distinguish our campus as the most beautiful in the country.
Details on the long-range space plan were presented to the February meeting of Senate by Provost and Vice-President (Academic) Fred Longstaffe, who highlighted several projects that have already been approved, including:
- New Science building - to house Chemistry and Physics & Astronomy
- Westminster College renovations - to house Psychology research groups; Alumni Relations; Development; Foundation Western; Advancement Services; Communications & Public Affairs
- Biotron (CFI funded)
- Student recreational facility (supported by student fees recently passed in the USC-sponsored referendum)
- Spencer Hall expansion and renovation - to house the Ivey MBA program
Also mentioned were several projects to be recommended, including:
- Support Services Building (at existing Commissary site) to house Physical Plant, ITS, HR, Finance, IPB/WISG, Research Western
- Althouse building renovations - to replace the HVAC system and make interior upgrades
- Physics & Astronomy building renovation - including asbestos removal, replacing M&E systems, installing new fumehoods, and modifying interior layout
- Physical Plant building renovations - to accommodate student services
- Renovations to Lawson and Stevenson Buildings - will be available for academic purposes
- University Community Centre renovations - to create classrooms and enable conversion of outdated classrooms in other buildings
- Bio-Engineering building replacement - plans for which may be expanded if a pending CFI proposal is successful
- New building for Ivey HBA and PhD business programs - contingent on Ivey fundraising efforts, this project would include renovations to the existing Ivey Business School building for other purposes
Combined, these projects will free up a substantial amount of space within several of our existing facilities, including Social Sciences, Alumni Hall, UCC, Physical Plant, SLB and Ivey. Allocation of this vacant space will be determined during our next planning cycle.
Finally, other projects under consideration include:
- Research / Innovation facility
- Co-generation plant
- Upgrades to Talbot Theatre
- New building in the Research Park
- Music Library upgrades
- Modernization of the Chemistry Addition
- Conversion of Alumni Hall to a concert facility
- Athletic facility