Work begins on University Centre renovations

The ambitious $17 million renovation and expansion project will be completed in two phases, with most of the construction scheduled during the summer months of 2005 and 2006.

An expanded and updated University Centre was identified as a priority in the recently completed Campus Master Plan. The completed project will translate into a much greater student experience. Vice-President (Finance and Administration) Duncan Watt says the original building, now 40 years old, was built for a much smaller student population and does not meet today’s needs. “We consider it a priority to rejuvenate the University Centre as a main arrival centre and student hub of the campus,” he says.

One of the major challenges of the construction will be to minimize the disruption and inconvenience to building occupants and to students.

“Communication with the University community will be the key to ensuring the project runs smoothly,” says Darryl Boyce, Director of Physical Plant.

Boyce says that faculty, staff and students will receive notice of any disruptions through email. The community can also stay up-to-date by visiting the project Web site at: It will include information on the project schedule, planned system shutdowns and any relocations.

In the next few weeks, construction fences will be erected on the east and south sides of the building, completely enclosing the space between the University Centre and the Architecture Building and cutting off the main lower entrance adjacent to Oliver’s. (See the Site Plan below for more detailed information.)

Site plans will be posted at all entrances indicating access points and the construction schedule.

The elevator servicing all six floors of the building will be operational this summer, and will be reconditioned during the summer of 2006.

Here are a few highlights of what will be underway this summer.

  • Expanded Food CourtConstruction May – September 2005

    The second-level food court will be expanded to twice its size and will offer a variety of seating and food services.

    The existing dining area will be transformed into a lively “Main Street” that will accommodate large numbers of patrons who are looking for a quick lunch.

    The food servery will be set up in a market style, with distinct food kiosks offering everything from pizza and sandwiches to vegan and wok cooking.

    The expanded dining area will be transformed into a social club and will include a “Bistro” with banquette, bench and bar seating under a pergola; a “sports bar” featuring large-screen TVs, and high stools at an (unlicensed) bar; a “Terrace” offering longer-term conventional seating at tables, and an “Overlook Lounge” with soft-seating and low tables. Total seating will be increased from the current 300 to over 500.

    The new food court will even include a fireplace lounge with soft-seating for relaxation.

    The dining area will stay open after hours and will feature wireless Internet access, serving both as a place to study and socialize.

  • ClassroomsConstruction May 2005 – January 2006

    A three-story addition will be constructed on the east side of the building facing the Architecture Building and will contain five new classrooms of varying sizes. A new elevator will service all three floors.

  • StairwellDemolition and construction summer – September 2005

    The old steep central stairs from levels one to four will be replaced with a new gradual and more gracious staircase. A new atrium-like entrance to the building will lead traffic to these new stairs.

  • New GalleriaConstruction May 2005 – January 2006

    Perhaps the most dramatic change to the University Centre will be the new two-storey galleria on the fourth level between Baker Lounge and the Tory Building. The 10,000 sq. ft. space will be filled with natural light and will be multi-functional, serving as a place for small meetings, lectures, exhibits and just lounging around.

    During construction, the Internet Café will be relocated and Information Carleton will remain open. All other fourth level services, including Roosters’ Coffee House, CUSA offices and Baker’s Grille will remain open.

  • Construction Scheduled for Summer 2006The interior fit-up and renovation for a new bookstore will not take place until 2006. Renovations to Oliver’s Pub will take place at the same time. The existing elevator in the University Centre will be renovated in the summer of 2006.

    Visit for updates.

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