Queen's Gazette | Queen's University

Search form

Mitchell Hall to mark opening with official celebration

Queen’s community to gather for unveiling of new centre of innovation and wellness.

Exterior view of Mitchell Hall at dusk.
Queen's University is set to celebrate the opening of Mitchell Hall - the campus's new centre for innovation and wellness. (University Communications)

With only days until its grand opening ceremony, Queen’s University’s new hub of innovation and student wellness is already bustling with activity. Over the last few months, spaces inside Mitchell Hall have been welcoming students, faculty, and staff, and have quickly become central to daily campus life.

Home to expanded engineering and research facilities, collaborative and experiential learning spaces, and a wide spectrum of student services, Mitchell Hall was designed to build community and foster the important relationships that connect mental health, physical well-being, academic, and personal success.

“It has been truly exciting to witness Mitchell Hall take shape over the past few years,” says Tom Harris, Interim Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic), “but the greatest pleasure yet has been seeing its spaces come alive as our community begins to explore and utilize the building’s full potential.”

On Saturday, March 30, members of the Queen's and Kingston communities will gather in Mitchell Hall’s grand, sunlit central atrium, alongside donors and government officials for the facility’s official ribbon-cutting event at 11 am. Representatives of the university and the students, provincial and local governments will make remarks at the ceremony, as will Bruce Mitchell (Sc’68) – the lead patron who will speak on behalf of all donors to the project.

“On behalf of Queen’s I want to express the utmost gratitude to the donors whose support made Mitchell Hall possible,” says Dr. Harris. “We look forward to celebrating their contributions with them and their families, and showcasing to our guests and visitors all of the elements the facility has to offer.”

The building, located on the former site of the Physical Education Centre at the corner of Union and Division streets, was made possible by $50 million in philanthropic support and a combined $21.8 million from the Government of Canada’s Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund and from the Government of Ontario.

Behind its original limestone façade, Mitchell Hall’s new facilities house a wide variety of centres and services in bright, contemporary spaces – many of which took up occupancy and opened for use during a phased launch that began in November 2018. Among the first student services to invite guests in were the Gregory David and Neil Rossy Health Promotion Hub, Faith and Spiritual Life, and Student Community Relations, all of which opened in December 2018. Three gymnasiums also opened, as did new examination facilities, which hosted the writing of nearly 65,000 fall term exams. Doors also opened to Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science technology-enabled active learning classrooms.

December also brought the opening of the Queen’s University International Centre, which moved to Mitchell Hall after 50 years of operation in the John Deutsch University Centre. Queen’s is currently home to approximately 3,500 international students who, together with the entire campus community, can now make use of the space to meet, work, relax, and seek out academic opportunities and support.

The Rose Innovation Hub made its January debut at the Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre’s (DDQIC) “Ignition Week” – a five-day exploration of all things entrepreneurship and innovation for students. Showcased during the celebration were the DDQIC’s offices, a large, modern event commons, a suite of co-working spaces for early-stage innovators, the LinQLab workshop space with modern multimedia capabilities, and the SparQ Studios makerspace – equipped with 3D scanners, 3D printers, laser cutting, wood and metal working, and more. The High Performance Varsity Training Centre and new athletic space also opened for student-athletes in January 2019.

Following the grand opening ceremony, guests will tour these spaces, as well as the newly debuted Beaty Water Research Centre, and spaces opening later this year, including the Côté Sharp Student Wellness Centre and Ingenuity Labs – a new institute focused on the design and use of intelligent systems and robotic machines to enhance human productivity, creativity, safety, and quality of life.

A livestream will be available online and on Facebook Live starting at 10:55 am EST on March 30, 2019.