Two new residences support need for student living space

Two new residences support need for student living space

December 10, 2012


The Board of Trustees has approved construction of two new residence buildings on campus. Detailed planning and studies of the two sites where the residences will be built, including a siting and massing study, informed the decision at this weekend’s meeting.

“The need for new residence space was very carefully considered,” says Alan Harrison, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic). “These new buildings will support current and future needs for student living space on campus.”

Senate approved modest growth in first-year admission for fall 2012. This growth was accommodated by converting the Quinte Lodge, now referred to as the Waldron Tower extension, and by leasing space downtown in the Confederation Place Hotel. The Hotel agreement is for five years, but with annual renewals so either party can withdraw with notice.

Living in residence in first-year is an important part of the Queen’s experience and our current residences are beyond full capacity. In recent years many common rooms have been converted to bedrooms. The benefits of the 550 new beds include restoring about 20 common rooms in existing residences, plus providing additional residence space for upper-year students and international students in alignment with the university’s enrolment strategy. They also provide some air-conditioned spaces for summer occupancy.

Ernst and Young was retained to give Queen’s advice on how best to approach the construction and financing of new residences. On its advice the university will own and manage the two new buildings. The estimated cost is $70 million.

The Residence budget will cover all construction and borrowing costs, and will continue to deliver dividends to the university. It will also provide extra resources, including health and counseling, to serve the needs of the students who occupy the new spaces.

Construction of the new buildings is expected to begin in 2013 with completion for residency in fall 2015. One residence is planned for Leonard Field between Morris and McNeill Halls and the other on the site bordered by St. Lawrence Avenue, Stuart and Albert Streets. Community meetings to discuss designs and plans and seek public input on the two new residences will be scheduled in 2013.

The updated Campus Master Plan will address future student housing options and opportunities.