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Architecture school breaks ground on new building

By: Heidi Ulrichsen - Sudbury Northern Life

 | Mar 20, 2014 - 4:06 PM |
The Laurentian University School of Architecture broke ground on phase two of its construction March 20. Laurentian president Dominic Giroux (right) is seen here helping architecture school founding director Terrance Galvin (second from right) preserve some of the dirt from the groundbreaking, as architecture student Tony Mai (left) and Laurentian vice-president, administration Carol McAulay (second from left) look on. Photo by Heidi Ulrichsen.

The Laurentian University School of Architecture broke ground on phase two of its construction March 20. Laurentian president Dominic Giroux (right) is seen here helping architecture school founding director Terrance Galvin (second from right) preserve some of the dirt from the groundbreaking, as architecture student Tony Mai (left) and Laurentian vice-president, administration Carol McAulay (second from left) look on. Photo by Heidi Ulrichsen.

$23.9M facility set to be completed next year

While Laurentian University's architecture students call the repurposed downtown building where they attend classes "home," and love it there, student Tony Mai said he is excited his program will soon have a brand-new building.

In the first phase of construction, the former Market Square building at the corner of Elm and Elgin streets and the CP telegraph building next door were renovated to house students and faculty starting in September 2013.


Work on the project's second phase — a $23.9 million, 55,000 square foot purpose-built building for the architecture school — starts this month. A groundbreaking for the project was held March 20.

The new facility will be located on the same downtown site as the buildings currently used by the program. It's expected to be ready in 18 months, in time for the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year.

Mai, a member of the architecture school's charter class, said he's seen the architect's renderings for the new building, and thinks it looks great. He's also looking forward to seeing the construction in progress.

“Being architecture students, that's something that's going to benefit us,” Mai said.

Laurentian architecture school founding director Terrance Galvin said he's arranged for the contractor — Bondfield Construction — to show the students around the construction site once a month.

They'll learn both about the progress being made, and problems that need need to be corrected. “You rarely get that opportunity as a student in an architecture class,” Galvin said.

The new building will include a lecture hall which will also be available for use for public events, classrooms, studio space an a library, he said. There will also be an inner courtyard and public walkway.

The north wing, fronting on Elm Street, will be a steel-framed structure containing mezzanines above the second floor.

The west wing will be a two-storey glulam and cross-laminated timber (CLT) wood structure – the first large-scale use of CLT in a public building in Ontario.

After the new building is complete, the former Market Square building will be used by the students as a construction shop.

The start of the next phase of construction is a “great moment,” he said.

“In many places, projects of this scale often don't get realized for all kinds of reasons,” Galvin said, adding that the architecture school has seen great support from both government and community members.

Laurentian president Dominic Giroux said he's also thrilled the project has become a reality.

“This is another exciting chapter in the evolution of the Laurentian School of Architecture,” he said. “I'm really excited about the prospect of the completion of phase two.”
Heidi Ulrichsen

Heidi Ulrichsen

Staff Writer

@heidi_ulrichsen

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