The new six-storey building will feature laboratories, teaching spaces, and study rooms. Photo: Elizabeth Whicher.
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Academic complex to feature new laboratories, study spaces, Food Services facilities

On Sept. 22, Fotenn Management Inc. unveiled plans for a new six-storey science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) academic complex at the University of Ottawa.

The site envisioned for the STEM Complex will be located in the southwest portion of the U of O campus at 150–160 Louis Pasteur Private, according to Fotenn Management Inc.

Although the project is in its early planning stages, the urban design firm proposes to include classrooms, laboratories, offices, teaching spaces, study rooms, and a lecture theatre in this new building. The main level is designed with an open corridor at the front, containing study stations, social spaces, and Food Services facilities.

The plan also includes the development of basement levels that will be reserved for more intensive purposes. A hydraulics lab reservoir and a structures lab workspace are proposed for the lowest level, with additional laboratories, workspaces, storage, and mechanical rooms on the first basement level.

However, the new STEM building will not have any surrounding parking facilities to promote safety and prioritizes pedestrians and cyclists, as well as reduce traffic in the area.

According to Fotenn’s development plan, the former parking lot adjacent to the site is proposed to be converted into an open space named Marion Square that showcases hard and soft landscaping features and street furniture.

Patrick Abou Sleiman, a third-year computer engineering student at the U of O, told the Fulcrum that his main concerns about the current layout of campus is the lack of quiet study rooms in the SITE building.

“Now they are closing the one (quiet room) in engineering … so we don’t have a place to study quietly at SITE.”

With the proposed complex, Sleiman hopes to see changes to student spaces, along with labs to enrich their learning experience. This includes a “workshop place for students where they can experiment with their courses, for (them) to be able to experiment with computers, build and design software or hardware and for engineers to be able to practice the theory.”

He also hopes that this new complex will bring about more spaces for students “to be able to study and not to roam the university to get to places. For example, not to walk from SITE to Morisset just to find places because it’s super crowded.”

As the plan is currently in its early stages, the U of O did not comment on when the construction for this new building would begin or when the complex will be opened.