Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

September 08, 2003

Moving day for University of Guelph-Humber

The University of Guelph-Humber is moving to its new home today, a $45-million building that will feature specialized classrooms and laboratories, a gallery, a learning commons and Internet café and an atrium with a “living wall.”

“This is a historic and exciting day for our students and for all of Ontario,” said David Trick, the university’s chief executive officer. “The University of Guelph-Humber is a new model for education in this province, and that uniqueness is reflected in this facility. It’s one of the most innovative university buildings in North America, with state-of-the art accommodations and spaces for students and faculty to learn from one another.”

The only institution of its kind in Ontario, the University of Guelph-Humber is a joint venture between the University of Guelph and the Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning. It enables students to earn a fully integrated university honours degree and a college diploma in only four years of study.

Almost 900 first- and -second-year students will attend classes in the new university building, located on Humber’s north campus in Toronto. The four-storey,133,130-square-foot structure has 22 classrooms, and specialized teaching and learning laboratories. In addition the whole of the second floor is devoted to space for informal student learning. There is a 164-seat learning commons, a 200-seat Internet café, eight break-out rooms, computer classrooms, a 90-seat math and writing centre.

The internal atrium is designed for special events and lectures and has a wall of plants. The plant wall provides an active biofilter for improved air quality and will contribute to the ventilation of the building: warming the air in the winter and cooling the facility in the summer. It will also be the site of a research project centred on studying the effects of biofilters in large buildings. The new building received $28.63 million in funding as part of the Ontario government's SuperBuild project.

The building was designed to complement the university’s commitment to a learner- centred environment, with most classrooms holding small groups of 24 to 65 students, said Michael Nightingale, vice-provost and chief academic officer. “This is a community of learners where faculty and students know one another by name,” he said.

The University of Guelph-Humber opened in the fall of 2002 and initially offered programs in business, computing and media studies. Three new programs – justice studies, family and community social services and early childhood – have been added this fall and 93 per cent of the inaugural class is returning for a second year. “Our high retention rate reflects the quality of our faculty and staff, as well as our first-rate students and our commitment to their success,” Nightingale said.

The university plans to have the capacity for more than 2,000 students in the new building by 2006.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt (519) 824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Rachelle Cooper, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982.

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