Physical signs of growth at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College will soon be evident with the start of the first phase of the new academic building project.
The federal and provincial governments announced a significant investment in infrastructure for Grenfell College in late May. The federal funding is part of the Knowledge Infrastructure Program, a two-year $2-billion economic stimulus measure to support infrastructure enhancement at Canadian post-secondary institutions, including universities and community colleges. The provincial funding is part of the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador’s $4-billion, multi-year infrastructure strategy.
The project was awarded to the joint architectural firm of Hearn/Fougere. The firm will oversee the work of several consultants – mechanical, electrical, civil and structural – who will complete the detailed planning for the project.
The new building, which will adjoin the Arts and Science Building at its existing main entrance, will add much-needed academic, research, computer and meeting spaces, and will be a striking architectural feature of the campus. Disciplines such as chemistry, physics, earth science, biology and ecological economics will benefit from the addition. Faculty and staff offices, as well as dedicated study areas for students, will also be included; small group rooms will be particularly important for our business program.
The detailed plan for the first phase consists of the construction of the building’s foundation and the structural steel framing. To facilitate this process, it will be necessary to confirm topographical data on the site through cutting of sightlines for surveying purposes. The work will be conducted in the green space near the main entrance to the campus.
“One of our key objectives is to minimize the loss of trees and green spaces,” said Dennis Waterman, Grenfell’s director of Administration and Finance. “Obviously we will lose some, but the site will be restored during the landscaping phase of the project.”
It’s expected that the area in front of the Arts and Science Building will become a full-fledged construction site by the end of the summer. The site will encompass part of the parking lot across from the Arts and Science Building; plans have been established to expand the parking area across from the Fine Arts Building by September to compensate for the loss of space.
Phase 2 – the construction phase – will begin following a call for tenders for construction of the building.
“We expect to award the tender in the fall, with work continuing into the winter months as the weather permits,” said Mr. Waterman. “Our objective is to complete construction by March 31, 2011, allowing research and teaching to begin by the fall semester of that year.”
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