University Planning New Residence

November 11, 2011 - Campus Bulletin

The University of Guelph plans to build a new student residence on campus with help from a private-sector builder that would provide the capital for the new building.

The planned facility would be the first residence built in more than a decade.

“This will help us with our recruitment process,” says Brenda Whiteside, associate vice-president (student affairs). “Many of our buildings on campus are older with more traditional configurations. Although fully functioning and equipped to service the needs of current students, our residence facilities do not provide for the increased desire for privacy that many prospective students are requesting.”

The proposal calls for reconfiguring Macdonald Hall — the oldest residence building on campus — into office and teaching space for use by the College of Management and Economics.

Macdonald Hall will continue to operate as a residence until completion of the new facility, likely in fall 2014 at the earliest.

The University has previously worked with a private-sector partner to provide student housing. In 2002, the University entered into a partnership with Richmond Property Ltd. to build rental housing units on U of G land on Edinburgh Road. Those units are rented mostly to students, but they’re not U of G residences, and Student Housing Services (SHS) offers no residence life programming there.

Under this proposed partnership, the University would maintain responsibility through SHS for residence life programming in the new building.

A committee will determine future residence needs, the new location for its all-female residence community, and the location, size and configuration of the new residence. The University will then issue a call for proposals.

The last building intended for single students — the three-tower East Residences — was built in 1972. In 2001, U of G opened the East Village townhouse complex, which accommodates 650 upper-year students in four- and five-bedroom units.

Macdonald Hall opened in 1903. It was funded by tobacco magnate Sir William Macdonald, who was also the benefactor of the nearby Macdonald Institute. The three-storey, 150-bed residence building was renovated in 1969 and in 1997.

With 14 different campus living environments, U of G has one of the largest university housing systems in Canada.

Related Story: Campus master plan getting a makeover

University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1