By Alex Latus
Cranes, hard hats and safety cones … no way of escaping them at uOttawa this summer! Construction is underway on a number of projects aimed at improving campus facilities — and building new ones — to keep the University at the forefront of teaching and research.
While new buildings like the STEM Complex and the Learning Centre are taking shape thanks to provincial and federal funding, the University also earmarks a portion of its annual operating budget for infrastructure renewal projects. Regular investments in roofs, roads and buildings ensure that the campus and its facilities stay maintained, reliable and welcoming.
Here’s an overview of current and planned construction this summer.
100 LAURIER: The building that houses the Department of Visual Arts will have part of its roof replaced. Work should begin over the summer.
190 LAURIER: General repairs to the windows and doors of the Development Office, a building of historical significance, should begin at the end of the summer or in the fall.
ARTS COURT: The University will soon have access to new classrooms as part of a 35-year lease agreement with the City of Ottawa for space in the new Arts Court building. Located opposite Hagen Hall, the new building at 60-70 Waller Street will include a 120-seat black box theatre and four classrooms.
D’IORIO: Replacement of D’Iorio Hall's roof began in the fall of 2016. The second phase of this project should be completed by the end of July.
FACULTY OF SOCIAL SCIENCES: The main entrance to FSS will be closed until late August to address water infiltration and drainage issues. The doors leading directly into the FSS lounge and into Vanier Hall will remain open.
HAGEN: The service tunnel underneath Hagen Hall requires general repairs, which are expected to begin in July.
LEARNING CENTRE: Construction of the Learning Centre, which will offer modern, interdisciplinary study rooms and a new food service area on the first floor, should be completed in 2018. Until late August, the passageway that links Montpetit Hall and Lamoureux Hall will be closed so that it can be expanded to provide access to the Learning Centre.
LED RETROFIT: Facilities is preparing for a campus-wide retrofit of more than 90,000 LED light bulbs, which promises to reduce the energy consumption of our lighting system by roughly 40%. Workers will start changing the bulbs in mid-August.
MANN GARAGE: The top level of the Mann parking garage (P4) is exposed to the elements, which prevents year-round parking. The addition of a new roof will eliminate the snow load and provide 91 more parking spaces for use during the winter months. Construction is expected to run until October. The first three floors will remain open throughout the construction period.
MORISSET AND THE UNIVERSITY CENTRE: The terrace of Morisset Hall, which serves as a roof to parts of the University Centre, is 44 years old, leaking and needs to be replaced. The concrete is being removed and the waterproofing membrane replaced. A new terrace, with new landscaping and lighting, is being built. The steps to the UCU (opposite the 90U residence) will also be replaced and modified to make space for a small assembly area. The nearby accessible ramp will need to be dismantled during construction, but will be reassembled afterward. Construction should be finished by late August.
POWER PLANT: The emergency generator and related electrical infrastructure of the University’s power plant will be replaced with a new and larger generator to improve the reliability of the power supply on campus. Work is expected to be completed in the fall.
ROGER GUINDON: With multiple projects planned for 2016-2018, Roger Guindon is a hive of construction activity. Completed so far: renovations of three wet labs (one for the Faculty of Medicine and two for Health Sciences), as well as other infrastructure projects. Construction will continue throughout the summer as the third floor is expanded to accommodate new laboratory spaces for the Faculty of Medicine.
SIDEWALKS AND ASPHALT: Various sidewalk and asphalt repairs will be undertaken across campus this summer, which may result in some detours for pedestrians.
SIMARD: The main entrance to Simard Hall will be closed until the end of August to address water infiltration and drainage issues. Pedestrians will be redirected to the side entrances, such as the one beneath the raised walkway.
STEM COMPLEX: Construction is ongoing at the former site of MacDonald Hall and the CUBE building to create a state-of-the-art STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) complex. The new facility will house open-concept teaching labs, multidisciplinary spaces and 3D-printing Makerspaces. Construction should be completed in 2018.