Accommodating the St. Mike’s demolition

For the better part of the school year, Wilfrid Laurier University’s St. Michael’s campus has been surrounded by a purple fence. This fence marks the beginning of the university’s plan to demolish the building in the coming weeks.
This major construction is all part of the physical resources department’s ‘Campus Master Plan’.

The demolition of the St Michael’s building, which will make room for the addition of the Global Innovation Exchange Building, is all part of phase one of the plan.

The Master Plan itself is a major construction initiative set out for both Laurier’s Waterloo campus and its Brantford counterpart.
As most already know, parking at Laurier can be a hassle, and as Gary Nower, assistant vice president of physical resources said, “It’s like gold.”

Parking will become scarcer when the full construction takes place. Right now, with the demolition hoarders up – the purple plywood -, about 12 parking spots have been lost.

When full production begins in August of 2012, the entire back parking lot will be taken over by construction. This inconvenience will trouble students and staff alike. Parking is a major issue, especially with upper year students.

“That is an issue,” said Nower. “However, a new parking lot was just built by Northdale campus [on Hickory Street] we are also constructing more parking there [Northdale] to accommodate for spaces we’re going to lose during construction”.

The demolition of St Mike’s has also meant scattering classrooms and finding different places for tutorials.

“Clearly we had to find a place for all the classes and tutorials,” said Nower, “Which have all been accommodated on the main campus, as I understand through the registrars office.”

The tutorials may have found homes, but this shifting of classrooms means that more classes had to be scheduled on Fridays to accommodate for the lack of classroom space.

It’s not all bad news. Once the building is complete the back lot will be opened back up and 199 new parking spots will be ready for use underneath the new building.

“So our strategy is to try and put parking underground, we have a master plan that talks about underground parking, also moving parking to the perimeter to make more rooms for things that are important for you, like classrooms and labs, and social spaces,” said Nower.

More information on the master plan is available on the Laurier website.

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