Laurier Brantford’s One Market space now open for classroom use
Laurier’s Brantford campus opened their One Market space for classroom use this fall after renovating the space to use for students as well as centralized services for the integrated campus.
“In September of 2014 the City of Brantford approved the sale of the former Market Square Mall property to Wilfrid Laurier University for $5.8 million. In lieu of a lump sum payment, the university agreed to lease space in the building net rent free to the city for approximately 7.5 years,”said Beth Gurney, associate director of communications & public affairs for the Brantford campus in an email statement.
“At that time the building housed offices for around 220 municipal employees.”
“When we had acquired the space a couple of years ago, we had an architecture firm come and support us and we really started to work with students, staff, faculty and community member to envision what the space could look like,” said Adam Lawrence, the dean of students for the Brantford campus.
“Lots of students took part which was a big focus for me because we have so many beautiful buildings in Brantford and students have helped shape those buildings, but we really love to hear the student feedback about a few things, one being the opportunity for food in One Market and also the opportunity to bring a lot of student support services under one roof.”
The One Market space is currently used for three classroom spaces as well as a seminar space, and more student services like Service Laurier, the dean of students’ office and the Wellness Centre will be moving into the building in future months as well.
“We found out that we were moving forward with the student feedback, myself, David McMurray and a few other proposed the idea of bringing everyone together, now construction has been underway, both Laurier International and our LEAF program have already moved in, they’re on the third floor, we’re hoping to announce a new food option in the coming days,” Lawrence said.
“Later in the term, the dean of students office, accessible learning, learning services and development, academic advising, career and co-op and student EDI are all moving into One Market.”
Contrary to the Waterloo campus that is tightly compact on the King and University intersection, the Brantford campus is integrated with Brantford’s downtown strip and many buildings are scattered across town and they purchased the One Market space to try and centralize more of the services for Brantford.
“The Brantford campus is growing and we’ve been blessed to have not only a multi-campus relationship with Waterloo, Kitchener and Toronto, but also with the growing programs, a good example is our user experience program, they need new spaces for their innovative programs and teaching, just with growth we thought that we could achieve more by putting people together and having stronger partnerships and better access for students,” Lawrence said.
With the expansion of the Brantford campus into One Market, it is only the start of refacing the campus to continue to integrate a downtown campus into more accessible spaces for students as well as more innovate hubs for less traditional programming.
“We look forward to proceeding in a very intentional way to make sure that One Market is filled with innovative and highly engaging academic activities from all of our programs. These might be classes, but it will also include experiential learning opportunities. We hope to see it bustling with students at all times,” said Kathryn Carter, acting dean of the faculty of liberal arts in an email statement.