Campus construction is set to be completed in 2018. Photo: Christine Wang.
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Energy saving measures, updates on STEM building, learning centre

With the end of summer in sight and a new school year around the corner, the University of Ottawa is working to complete the construction around campus.

The current projects, led by the U of O’s facilities team, are set to improve learning, teaching, and research at the university. According to Marc St-Amour, manager of facilities planning and client engagement, “(their) work is guided by the values of professionalism, accountability, sustainability, teamwork and continuous improvement.”

Here is a look  at some of the projects that are still under way:

Arts Court

The university is set to have a state of the art new theatre as part of a 35-year lease agreement with the City of Ottawa in the new Arts Court building. This facility will include a 120-seat black box theatre and four classrooms. The project is expected to be completed in 2018.

Hagen (Tunnel)

“Prior excavation work on Séraphin Marion revealed that the service tunnel beneath Hagen is in need of general repairs and maintenance,” said St-Amour.

Construction is wrapping up and should be completed this fall. St-Amour said students and staff should be advised that this project currently has an impact on parking in lot C.

Lamoureux: Learning Center

The new Learning Centre still has a ways to go, with a deadline set for 2018. “The new space will offer modern, interdisciplinary study rooms and a new food service area on the first floor,” said St-Amour. Currently, the passageway linking the Montpetit and Lamoureux buildings will be unavailable until the end of August while it is expanded to provide access to the Learning Centre.

Mann Garage

The exposed top level of the Mann parking garage (P4) cannot currently accommodate parking year-round due to snow, said St-Amour. “An addition of a new roof will eliminate the snow load and allow an additional 91 parking spaces to be used throughout the winter,” he said. Construction is expected to be completed this October.

Morisset / UCU

The 44-year-old Morisset lower terrace serves as a roof to parts of the University Centre (UCU), and is being replaced due to leaking. The concrete has been demolished, the waterproof membrane replaced, and a new terrace has been constructed, featuring new landscaping and lighting.

The UCU steps, opposite the 90U residence, have also been replaced, with the addition of a small assembly area. The wheelchair ramp was dismantled due to work being done under the ramp, but will be reinstalled in September. The area should be ready for student use by the end of September.

New STEM building (former site of MacDonald/CUBE)

Construction will continue on the new STEM complex, which will house additional spaces for the Faculties of Science and Engineering, complete with new classrooms, multidisciplinary and student spaces, open-concept teaching labs, and 3D-printing Makerspaces. The complex is expected to open in 2018.

Light Rail Transit (LRT)

The City of Ottawa is still completing construction on  Campus Station. This summer, the sidewalk along the Marie-Curie Private was replaced in order for services to reach Campus Station.

Miscellaneous sidewalk and asphalt repairs across campus were completed this summer, including the front entrance of the Fauteux building, the Montpetit sidewalk, the front entrance of SITE, interlock releveling, and a small retaining wall behind Colonel By Hall, which will be under construction until the end of September.

Campus facilities is also currently preparing for a campus-wide retrofit of over 90,000 LED bulbs. The retrofit promises to reduce energy consumption by roughly 40 per cent, or $945 thousand  annually. The project is scheduled to begin in September and be completed by December.

“A lot of construction was started over the summer,” said St-Amour. “Our projects focus on building and site maintenance to improve student experience, as well as to protect and maintain our facility assets. Our team is environmentally motivated and are looking for sustainable ways to improve our surroundings, reduce costs, and impact on the environment.”