UW plans for expansion

At the end of April, Waterloo city councillors approved preliminary plans for a project that will ambitiously expand the size of the University of Waterloo campus.

The plans have outlined construction to continue at the research and technology park, located on the north end of campus, and at a plot of currently undeveloped land located at the property’s northwest end.

Phase one of the construction is aimed at developing the northwest end, moulding the vacant lots into proactive and ergonomic university accommodations.

While the Waterloo city council was not unanimous in the proposition to develop vacant lots at first, the plans were eventually accepted.

Despite opposition against the projected use of the lots, ward six city councillor Jan d’Ailly said that the plans “were truly visionary in terms of being able to identify a proper campus for the university.”

Scheduled to open in the spring of 2011, the northwest section of the UW campus has been reserved to house a new city library branch and a YMCA.

While occupying UW territory, the YMCA and library will function as independent facilities, supported in part by a joint partnership between city and university resources.

D’Ailly is optimistic that the expansion of the UW campus will further the theme of academic integrity entrenched in Waterloo’s public image.

“Waterloo certainly represents a lot of leading edge activities.”

He explained that UW “has committed to expand the quantum mechanics department, which is at the leading edge of quantum computing, forefront on a worldwide basis.”

UW’s proposed Quantum-Nano centre, expected to be completed early 2011, will house both the quantum mechanics and nanotechnology program, which will offer students a much more comprehensive learning environment.

This style of expansion is not solely limited to the university’s Waterloo campus.

UW has already been extended to satellite campuses across Kitchener and one even reaching Dubai. While encompassing a four square-kilometre campus today, the UW campus is expected to double in size over the next 40 years.

Currently employing over 2,000 staff members and educating close to 25,000 undergraduate students, it is anticipated that the expansion will dramatically increase UW’s capacity to provide opportunities for staff and students alike.

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