Since the elimination of grade 13 in Ontario schools in 2004, Carleton University has seen its student population rise substantially over the years, Assistant Vice President of Facilities Management and Planning Darryl Boyce explains. “The students are arriving one year younger,” he says.
“We find that they like the structure of being on campus, and their parents like [them living] on campus,” he continues. “The demand [for living spaces] has increased.”
To accommodate this growth, the university is building a 10-story residence hall that will have 434 living units. Although Carleton has built apartment-style residences in the past, “This one is going back to a more traditional-style residence that doesn’t have cooking facilities,” Boyce says.
Accommodating the Peaks
Each of the new units will feature two bedrooms connected by a common washroom. While the building has the capacity to house 830 beds, “We’re going to open it with 650,” he says.
“We’re starting it off by having two beds in one of the bedrooms, and one bed in [the other].”
Carleton has experienced peaks in student housing demand, when it has had to provide more space than expected. “This will allow us to accommodate those peaks,” Boyce says.
Right on Track
Carleton hired general contractor R.E. Hein Construction to build the university’s new residence hall. “They have actually built the last four of [our residential buildings],” Boyce says.
Boyce adds that the company is on track to finish the project by September. The architect on the project is Vermuellen Hind.
“The building is topped off and the roof is [being installed],” Boyce says. “The framing is well under way up to the eighth level.”
Although the building is not aiming for LEED certification, it has its share of sustainable features. For example, “We’ve managed to find a very effective shower head that uses low amounts of water but provides a shower people will be happy with,” he says.
The building also will have high-efficiency chillers.
“This new age of students [requires] air conditioning,” Boyce says. “[We also have] a light-colored roof to keep the heat from getting in through the roof.”
R.E. Hein has built the project while classes have been in session, but has experienced very few challenges, Boyce says. “This time was not as bad as some others,” he says, although project experienced some delays due to rain.
Carleton has worked to not disrupt students’ lives. “Since we’ve been building this new residence up against the other residences, we control the working hours of the contractor,” Boyce says. “We minimize it in the times [that are] most stressful for the students.”
A Comprehensive Campus
Founded in 1942, Carleton University originally specialized in educating young people in Ottawa who were working in the war effort. Today, the university spans 4 million square feet and has a population of nearly 22,000 students. In addition, the university says that it has more than 875 academic staff members who are recognized internationally for scholarship and research.
“We’re a comprehensive university,” Boyce says, adding the college has schools of architecture, engineering and design. Along with the new residence hall, it is now constructing a 40,000-square-foot addition to its commons building, which provides foodservice to the university’s housing precinct.
“[The expansion] will provide more space for students to eat in,” Boyce explains. “It will open three months from now.”
The university plans to construct more projects. Recently, “We put forward to the provincial government a project to add space to our library,” he describes, adding that this would be a two-floor addition.
“We’re hoping that we will be one of the fortunate ones who get funding in June,” Boyce says.