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(January 24, 2002, Gazette)

Harlow res reno continues apace

(L-R) Dr. Alan Perry, chair of the Harlow Board of Trustees; Karen Cracknell, Harlow director; and Dr. Michael Collins, Memorial’s associate vice-president (academic)

Dr. Axel Meisen, president of Memorial, along with Dr. Alan J. Perry, chair of the Harlow Board of Trustees, announced plans for the refurbishment of the residences at the Harlow Campus at a special event held on Jan. 10 by the Office of Alumni Affairs and Development. The campus is located in Essex, midway between London and Cambridge, and consists of a group of 19th century and older buildings.

“Our Harlow campus (residences) is in serious need of renovation and upgrading in the physical sense of the word,” said Dr. Meisen. “The Harlow Board of Trustees and the Board of Regents have been working with the administration at Memorial to develop a plan for the renovation of Harlow’s residences.”

Dr. Meisen announced that the provincial government had given Memorial the authority to take a loan to undertake the renovations. The cost for the renovations will be around 400,000 British pounds or just under $1 million. Dr. Meisen thanked Minister Sandra Kelly, Department of Youth Services and Post-Secondary Education, for her support in securing the loan and outlined Memorial’s plan to repay the loan at no cost to the government and province. Part of this plan includes the renting out of Harlow residences as inexpensive accommodation to companies and individuals during the off-semester period.

Dr. Perry reflected on the 33-year-old history of the campus and spoke about the current plans for renovation.

“The Harlow campus joins the oldest city in New World, St. John’s to the youngest city in Old World, Essex,” said Dr. Perry. “Harlow has served a wonderful purpose - giving students the experience to study and learn in a European setting. But we must now think of the future.”

Until recently, almost all students using the Harlow Campus came from the professional schools, as had been the original intention. The largest user was, and remains, the Faculty of Education, but over the years students have also come to Harlow from Social Work, Engineering, Business, Nursing, Medicine, and Pharmacy. In recent years, increased use of the Campus has been made by the departments of Folklore, History, Geography and English, and by the Fine Arts departments at Grenfell College.

Dr. Perry spoke briefly about the renovation plans which include two beds per room with wall units. The beds will be easily folded into the wall when only one is required. Each room will be equipped with computer and telephone facilities. There will be one bathroom per bedroom as opposed to the current communal bathrooms. The student common room will be updated and a new computer room and library will be added. None of the exteriors of the campus buildings will be altered. Work will start May 1 and is expected to be completed for the beginning of the fall term.