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Queen’s shares new student residence design

Kingston residents attend information session on proposed building, slated to open in 2022.

Rendering of the new residence design.
Construction of the new Albert Street residence is anticipated to start in the spring/summer of 2020.

The Kingston community got its second look at the conceptual designs for what will become Queen’s University’s newest student residence. An architectural model of the proposed structure was on display at a public information session event held Nov. 6 at Mitchell Hall, and guests were invited to ask questions related to the project’s development.

“It was a pleasure to have members of the Queen’s and Kingston community join us for a look at what is shaping up to be a promising new campus development,” says John Witjes, Queen’s Associate Vice-Principal (Facilities). “We appreciate all of the feedback we received on the design and look forward to engaging further with city residents to ensure the development process continues to be informative and transparent.”

The university’s Board of Trustees approved the residence business plan at its September 2019 meeting, and Queen’s is moving forward with initial plans to build a new five-story residence on the main campus. Current plans call for the building to have between 316 and 335 beds – a figure hinging on final interior designs – and to be ready for occupancy in September 2022. It will also target Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification – one of the most popular green building credential programs in the world – in line with the school’s commitment to sustainability.

The site, situated on Albert Street near its intersection with Union Street, was identified for residence development in the university’s 2014 Campus Master Plan and a 2019 analysis confirmed the property as the preferred site for a new residence. Queen’s has submitted a Site Planning Application to the City of Kingston in July 2019, to ensure that the project respects local land development standards.

Currently, five Queen’s-owned houses sit on the property. In consultation with city staff, the development plan includes the removal of three of the houses, and integration of the two southernmost structures into the design of the new residence building. The university is also committed to preserving boulevard trees along Albert Street. These efforts lend to the building blending into the neighbourhood look and feel.

This new residence facility will support modest undergraduate enrolment growth, as approved by the Queen's Senate in April 2019, and address deferred maintenance on existing residences.

“Queen’s remains committed to guaranteeing a residence experience for all of our first-year undergraduate students,” says Leah Wales, Executive Director of Housing and Ancillary Services. “The new residence will strengthen our capacity to do so, as well as create additional space to house students as the university works toward renovating existing residences.”

Construction is anticipated to start in the spring/summer of 2020, and updates on the process can be found on the Queen’s Housing website.