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New residence to be built on Henderson Street

HOUSING SERVICE HAS made plans to create a residence on Henderson Street to house 165 first-year students.

The University of Ottawa currently turns away approximately 1,000 first year residence requests per year, according to Housing Service director Michael Guilbeault.

Growing numbers of applicants and a lack of on-campus space has been a problem that has forced Housing Service to place first-year students in Sandy Hill homes that the service owns and manages; however, this solution is no longer a viable option.

Kaitlynne-Rae Landry, president of the Residents’ Association of the University of Ottawa, said these homes have been very poorly managed and maintained thus far.

“I’ve not seen them,” said Landry. “But from the students I’ve talked to, at least in the past, they have left a lot to be desired. We’re hoping that by bringing all the houses into the RAUO, we can ensure that the standards are up to par.”

Landry said the RAUO is putting pressure on Allan Rock to build new on-campus housing.

The new residence will not only cater to the needs of today’s students but will also be built with environmental standards in mind, according to Guilbeault.

Landry was frustrated that she only found out about the new residence project in early August. Nevertheless, she hopes the issue of representation for the new residence will be discussed by the RAUO and taken to referendum.

As for the long-term development of the university, discussions about re-zoning are taking place with the possibility of building large residences in the Sandy Hill area. Guilbeault and Landry both emphasized that close proximity of new residences to campus is a priority.

Over the next few years, the U of O will engage in a request for information concerning development possibilities for a 1,000-person capacity residence.

A private/public partnership would be needed to help fund the project. However, the U of O will not settle for something that does not meet the goals and obligations of the institution.

“The university is not looking for an apartment building, but a building that helps new students integrate into university life and independent living,” said Guilbeault.

A residence can only be considered as such if it is represented by the RAUO with community advisors present. The new residence will have all of the same advantages as other residences, pending a referendum by the RAUO.