By Dannick Lacombe
If you hear the sound of jackhammers digging through concrete as you walk across campus sometime soon, don’t be alarmed: it’s just one of the many construction projects Facilities is launching this summer. They may cause some temporary inconvenience, but rest assured that they are all part of a master plan to provide a vibrant environment for the exchange of ideas and knowledge.
From minor renovations to major projects, the University is investing $16.7 million in the campus. In April, for example, a big marquee event tent went up in the new University Square — one of many major new projects — in front of the Social Sciences Building.
Facilities will be rejuvenating the UCU terrace to create a dynamic new assembly and events area, upgrading the space with beautiful new landscaping and lights. In addition, construction work on the Learning Centre will continue throughout the summer to make it ready for students in the 2017-2018 academic year. The City of Ottawa, in collaboration with the University, will undertake updates of the sewers, storm drains and water mains beneath Séraphin Marion as well.
Summer 2016 will bring considerable infrastructure renewal, including the replacement of many roofs and parking garage ramps. Additionally, some of the steps of major buildings — University Centre, Morisset and Simard — will be repaired and restored. Some of these entrances will be inaccessible during the summer, but Facilities has provided a helpful interactive map, highlighting all the campus revamp projects and indicating alternative routes where necessary.
Facilities will also be conducting an audit of campus buildings until the end of September, reviewing their level of conformity with accessibility standards and making decisions about removing barriers within public spaces.