Carleton’s campus grows to meet increased needs

The River Building has a modern look that makes it an ideal event venue. Its three-storey atrium is home to a “living wall” and opens up onto a deck that looks onto the Rideau River. (James Park Photo)

Carleton University is growing again.

“After several years of intense construction, a number of new buildings are completed and fully operational …. All of these changes will result in an enhanced learning environment for our students and will make the Carleton experience even better,” says Peter Ricketts, the university’s provost and vice-president academic.

Students can now enjoy classes in the 140,000 square-foot River Building along with additions to Residence Commons and the nearby 10-storey Lennox and Addington House.

An addition to the Athletics complex’s fitness centre is expected to be completed by the end of the school year, and the MacOdrum Library continues to be open during the massive renovation project taking place there which is slated to be completed in 2013.

“It’ll be gorgeous both inside and out,” University Librarian Margaret Haines says. “We may have to live through some short-term pain but it’ll be worth it.”

Once the library renovation is completed, students, staff and faculty will enter the library through a two-storey reading room with glass walls to look onto the quad.

A circular wooden staircase in the middle of the room will run through every floor, while the larger fourth and fifth levels will double the amount of student study space, Haines says.

“Students have said they want more space in a better library. That’s what they’ll get.”

Carleton will also finish the 11,000 square-foot athletics expansion on the east side of campus by April or May, says Darryl Boyce, the assistant vice-president of Facilities Management and Planning.

“There was overwhelming support for the fitness centre in the community because that’s been an outstanding issue for a number of years. We’re going to make a great facility.”

The Ravens football team’s locker room will be on the first floor of the expanded building. The second floor will have new gym equipment and more room for students to workout, Boyce says.

The Department of Recreation and Athletics’ website says it’ll split the old fitness centre into two sections: one will be a training room for varsity athletes and the other will have space for student activities such as dance and fitness classes.

“We now have one building on our campus as river front property,” Boyce says about the Faculty of Public Affairs’ new home in the five-storey River Building, which takes its name from the Rideau River.

Because the road goes through and divides the building’s first floor, “people will be able to sit by the river and enjoy it without traffic distracting them.”

Architects designed the building’s offices and classrooms around a three-storey atrium with what Boyce calls a “living wall,” which is made up of plants.

The residence area of campus looks different, too.

Carleton has finished expanding Residence Commons, adding boardrooms to the second floor and meeting rooms with space to eat on the third floor, says David Sterritt, the director of Housing and Conference Services.

“It enables us to have a year-round venue for clients who want to have meeting space in which they can engage in more formal catered dining.”

The latest addition to the residence offerings at Carleton – Lennox and Addington Hous- is also finished. With more than 400 rooms on 10 floors, the residence between Glengarry House and Renfrew House is home to 650 students, he says.

The house, which is split into two “wings,” which separates the smaller number of second-year students from the first-year majority, Sterritt says.

Carleton needed the new residence because more students, even ones who grew up just blocks away, want to live on campus, he says.

“It’s absolutely clear that for first-year students, living in residence is important because it provides them with an opportunity to enjoy the most positive of university experiences. Those who don’t often feel their university experience is not as fulfilling.”

This entry was written by Marcus Guido and posted in the issue. Bookmark the permalink or share the following short URL for this article via social media:

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