The Learning Centre: a great new meeting place is born!

Posted on Thursday, August 13, 2015

Author: Johanne Adam

Unveiling of the Learning Centre rendering

The ground-breaking ceremony for The Learning Centre took place on Friday August 14 2015.
From left to right: MPP for Ottawa Centre Yasi Naqvi; the Honourable Reza Moridi, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities; President and Vice-Chancellor Allan Rock; the Honourable Madeleine Meilleur, Attorney General for Ontario, Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs and MPP for Ottawa-Vanier.

The University of Ottawa is about to break ground on another major construction project that will build a state-of-the-art $83M facility to be known as The Learning Centre, a place that will be entirely dedicated to student services.

The new building will be attached to Lamoureux Hall and will house 26 classrooms, four of which will be used for active, collaborative learning, and all of which will be equipped with the technology needed for hybrid teaching. Studies have shown that this type of teaching promotes learning because it requires students to actively participate in class.

“We first built a prototype of this kind of classroom in Louis Pasteur Hall, which allowed us to study the teaching method,” said Yves Herry, Associate Vice-President, Teaching and Learning Support Service. “The pilot project confirmed the validity of the concept so we designed the new building with this in mind.”

Two of the new classrooms will be able to accommodate 120 students, while the others will have a capacity of 60 students. Each classroom will be equipped with workstations that seat nine team members and feature video monitors, cameras, microphones and computers to facilitate teamwork, particularly in problem-solving exercises. “This equipment will allow students to share information with students seated at other workstations. The professor will then be able to project each team’s solution on a screen in front of the class,” said Yves Herry.

The Learning Centre will also house two 350-seat lecture halls and 20 associated study rooms that will serve as meeting spaces for small groups of about 15 students to discuss case studies or engage in problem-solving.

In addition, 800 study spaces have been set aside for individual or group work. “The Library space in the new Learning Centre will focus on active learning experiences that occur beyond the classroom, with dynamic and technology-rich environments where students can learn and create together,” said University Librarian Leslie Weir. “Our 24/7 study spaces will support students in a wide range of digital media projects, providing digital design studios and interactive screens allowing for immersive, large-scale displays.  Balancing these dynamic and collaborative spaces will be quiet areas for individual reflection and concentration.” 

Moreover, students will enjoy a new 350-space food court, which will be built on the ground floor and will feature an outdoor dining patio, all of which aims to lend a friendly, collaborative atmosphere to the new facility. “The goal is to make the Centre a meeting place for students, a place where they can eat, discuss, study and socialize. We really need this kind of space on campus,” said Lucie Mercier-Gauthier, Associate Vice-President, Student Services.

Given its prime location at the crossroads of several campus pathways, The Learning Centre is destined to become a favourite meeting place for students.

The Learning Centre is scheduled to open by the end of December 2017.

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