LRT location out, riverside site proposed for new building

Many of Ottawa’s and Gatineau’s finest buildings are nestled alongside rivers, such as the Canadian Museum of Civilization and the Centre Block of the Parliament buildings. By 2010, Carleton University’s newest proposed building will join that list. To meet Carleton’s increasing undergraduate and graduate enrollment, and its commitment to expand its research programs, the University plans to build a 200,000-square-foot facility by the Rideau River, next to the Herzberg Laboratories and the Steacie Building.

“The plan originally positioned the building over the light-rail station, in conjunction with the City of Ottawa’s plan to expand light rail,” says Vice-President (Finance and Administration) Duncan Watt. “Even though the city is re-examining that plan, the need for us to add another building still exists. But we think this site will be very pretty, and ideal for students and faculty since it is located close to the heart of campus.”

The $70-million building will feature a 400-seat theatre for public lectures that will be equipped to screen 35-millimetre films. Other facilities will include classrooms, a large public atrium and computer labs.

In October, the University’s building committee chose Moriyama & Teshima Architects and Griffiths Rankin Cook Architects as the facility’s design team. “This team has extensive experience designing academic facilities at other postsecondary institutions, and we like their visionary approach,” says Watt. “Alex Rankin, the head of the team, is currently touring buildings at other universities to obtain more ideas for the design. We look forward to seeing their concept.”

The proposed building’s tenants will share a resource centre, amalgamating the books, newspapers and other material already available in each unit. Tenants will include the Sprott School of Business, the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, the School of Journalism and Communication, Carleton International, the School of Public Policy and Administration and Biomedical Engineering and Science. If approved by the Board of Governors in its current form, construction would begin in March 2008, with an expected completion date of December 2009.

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