Grand opening celebrations with the charter class of 70 students, as well as faculty and dignitaries, kick off this afternoon and 3 p.m. But NorthernLife.ca is going to give readers a glimpse into the newly renovated interior of the school with a live tour of the building starting at 3:30 p.m.
Simply click this link to see where Northern Ontario's future architects will be learning their craft.
The school occupies the former Market Square building and the CP Telegraph building in the city's downtown core.
The celebration will continue throughout the month of September, with architecture lectures each week, said Terrance Galvin, the architecture school's founding director.
Next month, the students will get a chance to put their mark on the telegraph building, as they'll be allowed to paint a mural in one area.
Galvin said the building has been renovated to be student-friendly.
“The light in there is great,” he said. “We're having desks made for each student, so they can draw and store things in a credenza, and have a drawer to put their drawings in.”
The telegraph building, which will house architecture school faculty, has been renovated to include new windows and washrooms.
The marble in the building's old washrooms was taken off the walls and turned into countertops and other faculty office features.
There will also be an entirely new building for the architecture school constructed next to the railway tracks by September 2015.
All in all, the renovations and construction will cost roughly $20 million.
Galvin said he's pleased with the students the architecture school attracted for its charter class. The class includes 40 female and 30 male students, most of whom are from Northern Ontario and other regions of the province.
More than 17 per cent are Francophone or fluent in French, and seven per cent are indigenous students. Students were selected based on their portfolios, personal letters of application, high school grades, and letters of reference.
The Laurentian University School of Architecture will have a big impact on the downtown, Sudbury and Northern Ontario alike, Galvin said.
First of all, the downtown's economy will benefit, he said, which was one of the reasons behind locating the architecture school off-campus in the first place.
While the program is starting out with 70 students, by the time it's fully running, there will be 400 students in various stages of their undergraduate and graduate degrees.
“When you inject 70 or 100 people into any place, all of their daily life takes them out into businesses and cafés and restaurants and bars and shopping, and all of those things that you need to support the life of the students.”
Students will also be working with community groups throughout the northeast on architecture projects, he said.
“Will Sudbury transform overnight like in Cinderella, no,” he said. “Will it have an effect? Yes, of course.”