University of Ottawa to spend $83 million on new campus Learning Centre project

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            Construction to start in summer but architect and general contractor not selected yet

Ottawa Construction News staff writer

The University of Ottawa has approved the construction of a new $83 million Learning Centre campus building.

The six storey structure will be located steps from a future LRT station and include more than 800 study and work spaces for students, and 26 new classrooms.

However, a university spokesperson said that, although some demolition and construction work will start in the summer of 2015, by late December 2014, the university hadn’t selected a project manager or designer, and certainly hasn’t reached the stage of selecting the general contractor or trades for the work, to be completed by 2017.

“My guess when we come back back from holidays, by January Physical Resources will be working on this full speed,” said university spokesperson Caroline Milliard.

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The building, near the uOttawa light rail stop, will feature a food court with seating for 350 and greatly increase the space on the main campus devoted to students. This project is part of the university’s ongoing efforts to improve the overall experience of its students, a news release reported.
“The Learning Centre will become the new place where students congregate on campus,” says Christian Detellier, vice-president, academic and provost. “We carefully selected a location where the main flows of pedestrian traffic intersect. The centre will be a friendly meeting place and is designed to respond to the needs of not only our students but also new teaching practices.”
Recognizing the benefits of blended learning and its promising future (mixing online and on-campus classes), the university will dedicate four Learning Centre classrooms to hybrid courses. These classrooms will the boast state-of-the-art equipment that is critical for the modern teaching practices involved in blended learning.
The university’s board of governors approved the construction as well as the financing, comprised of government funding and funds from the university.  Milliard said the university issued the news release even before it had started work on preliminary design because student media, attending board of governors meetings, had reported on the matter.

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