Several construction projects aimed at strengthening U of G's housing, athletics, teaching and research are under way or nearing completion across campus.
On East Ring Road, work has begun on a 165-unit, three-storey raised townhouse village adjacent to East Residences. The estimated $33-million complex, to be funded by residence rental fees, will house 660 students when completed by August 2001. It will also feature a town hall or central meeting place, courtyards and computer network connections to all student rooms.
Across the road, construction continues on the University's new covered athletic field. A 60-foot-high dome made of steel and synthetic material will house a large artificial turf field and four-lane running track. Erected on what used to be outdoor tennis courts and a portion of Parking Lot 6, the facility is expected to be finished by the end of November. Parking will still be available for about 57 vehicles. During the construction period, tennis players are being accommodated at the Cutten Club.
At the Mitchell Athletics Centre, a larger and revamped men's locker room is now scheduled to reopen Oct. 1, following unexpected construction delays. Among the improvements are modernized hall- ways and lockers, upgraded lighting and better accessibility.
While construction is being completed, men will use the day lockers at the shower-room end of the new facility, says athletics director Dick Freeman. Dressing rooms 3 and 4 in the Gryphon Centre have also been set aside for men as changing and showering facilities, but there are no lockers on these premises.
The covered athletic field and renovations to the Athletics Centre are both being funded by students through a capital building fee.
The new addition to the Thornbrough Building was ready for occupancy last week, offering state-of-the-art computer laboratories, meeting rooms, offices and a 100-seat classroom. The addition was funded under the provincial Access to Opportunities Program. Computers and other high-tech equipment are being provided through a partnership with Hewlett-Packard Canada.
The Thornbrough addition also creates two new public spaces for the University - a landscaped courtyard facing the south side of the Richards Building and a large student piazza facing the intersection of Reynolds and Winegard walks.
Landscaping and finishing touches on the addition will continue throughout the month, with an official opening set for Sept. 25.
Also continuing throughout September are upgrades to classrooms in the MacLachlan Building. Until the work is complete, alternative arrangements have been made to accommodate classes in the Thornbrough Building. The upgrades are being funded by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.
To better serve the Canadian Research Institute for Food Safety (CRIFS), the building at 43 McGilvray Lane will soon undergo a makeover. Beginning in October, the renovations will add two new laboratories and upgrade 11 others. During the nine-month construction period, 25 to 30 researchers will be relocated to other campus facilities, which have yet to be identified.
An expansion of the Plant Growth Facilities Building (part of the Bovey Complex) is to be completed by Sept. 15. The addition will house various plant growth chambers that will simulate space and terrestrial applications under the direction of Prof. Mike Dixon, Plant Agriculture.
Both the CRIFS and Bovey projects are being funded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation.
The University Centre now boasts a Williams Coffee Pub as well as refurbished and expanded food services in Centre Six following renovations this summer. The food court features a soup, salad and bread bar and a larger dessert bar. Meanwhile, the cafeteria in Lennox/Addington Hall has also been renovated and now features a Pizza Pizza outlet. Hospitality Services' budget paid for these improvements.