$23.9M facility set to be completed next year
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.
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.”