Office of Advancement
Office of Advancement

A Queen’s landmark that many of you may remember is poised for a dramatic transformation, thanks to enormous support from alumni donors, parents, and the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario.

The demolition work on the old Physical Education Centre (known to some as “the PEC”), which began at the start of the school year, is nearly finished and construction of a state-of-the-art space for engineering, a base for Queen’s innovation agenda, and a new centre dedicated to student health and wellness is now underway.

Queen's alumni, friends, and parents generously contributed more than $50 million to the revitalized facility. Another significant portion of the funding came through the federal and Ontario Governments, to the sum of $20 million. In addition, benefactors donated another $15 million for student wellness and academic programming.  

“I have had the privilege of meeting many of the benefactors who have enabled this project which will benefit generations of Queen’s students,” says Provost and Vice Principal (Academic) Benoit-Antoine Bacon. “In my first year at Queen’s, I have been amazed by the generosity and good will of alumni and friends of the university and I would like to express my appreciation to everyone who has shared in our vision.”

Since 1931, the prominent Union Street site has been home to Queen’s physical education program and most varsity and intramural athletics. It also housed swimming and diving pools, squash and racquetball courts, classrooms, labs, and three gyms.

Innovation and Wellness Centre - Architect RenderingsAn architectural rendering of the Centre, showing the blend of the old building and the new structure. 

The new facility will include substantial research and collaboration space for the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, additional space for athletics and recreation, the Queen’s University International Centre, the Chaplain’s office, Queen’s first-ever Examination Centre and contemporary facilities and services for student health and wellness.

“With so many key components of the Queen’s student learning experience coming together in this space, it’s nice to see this happening to a building that is in the centre of campus,” said Associate Vice-Principal (Facilities) John Witjes.

Returning alumni will still be able to recognize the finished product. It will retain much of the PEC’s limestone facade, including the original windows, which were removed decades ago. “Connecting the old and the new is something that Queen’s does well, and this is going to be another great example of that,” Mr. Witjes said.

It will also include a spectacular atrium that will flood the building with natural light and create a welcoming open-concept gathering space.

The new facility is slated to open in September 2018. Watch the revitalization live on our webcam.