News Release

REF NO.: 117

SUBJECT: Graduate student accommodations at Memorial's Battery Facility full for September

DATE: August 29, 2016

If Memorial University’s Battery Facility was still a hotel, there would be a “no vacancy” sign in the front window.

All 85 rooms in the newly renovated Battery Facility Graduate Accommodations will be occupied this fall, bringing together students from across Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada and the world. The students represent a broad range of disciplines at Memorial, ranging from the social sciences and humanities to science and engineering.

“We think it’s a great opportunity for sharing ideas and developing relationships that extend across different faculties,” said Dr. Rob Greenwood, executive director, Public Engagement. “As we continue to launch new programming and opportunities over the coming years, we see the graduate students playing an important role in the life of the building.”

Not only have all of the rooms been allocated for fall, but there is a healthy waiting list. Unlike traditional residences, the rooms are more like independent living, with individual washrooms and shared laundry, kitchen and lounge facilities. Students prepare their own meals and are able to live in the space year-round.

“Housing is a critical need for the growing number of graduate students at Memorial,” said Dr. Aimée Surprenant, dean, School of Graduate Studies. “The modern accommodations offered by the Battery Facility not only address this immediate need, but serve as a strong selling point for prospective graduate students.”

Along with the new tenants, there are a number of other upcoming developments related to the Battery Facility. People living between the Battery Facility and Memorial may have noticed the shuttle bus that is in place to transport students from Signal Hill to several locations at Memorial as well as local grocery stores. While there have always been plans to offer transportation between the two facilities, especially as activity at the Battery Facility ramps up, consultation with student tenants suggested that starting transportation options sooner would be welcome.

Currently, the shuttle bus is piloting different routes and schedules in preparation for the full house of graduate students expected in September and providing transportation for students between the Ocean Sciences Centre, the Marine Institute and the St. John’s campus for specific undergraduate programs. It will also be used to support future programming at the Battery Facility.

Perhaps the most visible change is the ongoing demolition taking place at the site. The original “city wing” (the section that lays perpendicular to Signal Hill Road) is being taken apart from the inside out, with the more visible demolition of the external parts of the building about to begin. Next, the main section of the building will be renovated, including developing a conference centre, multi-use rooms, food and beverage areas and space for the initial Memorial tenants: the Genesis Centre, the Gardiner Centre, the Harris Centre and the Office of Public Engagement.

The vision for the Battery is of an accessible, provincewide resource for public engagement and innovation, maximizing technology and the expertise of the students, faculty and staff of Memorial and the people and organizations of Newfoundland and Labrador. The facility will help connect St. John’s with all the regions of the province and beyond, with the goal of helping to address some of Newfoundland and Labrador’s most pressing issues in a truly engaged and collaborative way.   

For more information about the redevelopment of Memorial’s Battery Facility, please visit here.

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