Revitalizing the JDUC

Revitalizing the JDUC

August 12, 2016


[Sam Anderson]
Sam Anderson (Sc’17), the Alma Mater Society’s Managing Director of the Student Life Centre, stands on the new walkway in the Upper Ceiledh. (University Communications)

Walking into the John Deutsch University Centre one is greeted by an open, bright space at its heart, the result of a revitalization project led by the Alma Mater Society (AMS).

While some scaffolding remains and last-minute details are being completed the new-look JDUC will be ready for the arrival of students in September, says Sam Anderson (Sc’17), the AMS’ Managing Director of the Student Life Centre.

The project began this spring and entailed three main goals: the renovation of the Upper and Lower Ceilidhs, as well as Wallace Hall.

[JDUC Revitalization]
As part of the revitalization project for the John Deutsch University Centre, the walls of Wallace Hall have been repaired and restained, while the floor has been refurbished. (University Communications) 

For nearly a century, the JDUC has served as a gathering place for the students of Queen’s University, and making it more inviting and functional was key.

“We have diverse student services, Queen’s departments, club spaces and bookable rooms,” Mr. Anderson says. “This revitalization focused on the shared areas that connect those to get more people coming in to see what the JDUC has to offer.”

The most obvious change is the addition of a walkway along the eastern wall of the Upper Ceilidh. This plays a dual role of creating greater access to Wallace Hall as well as offering more space when events are hosted in the JDUC.

A new skylight also helps with making the Lower Ceilidh brighter while Wallace Hall itself has been spruced up as well. The floors have been refurbished and the wooden walls have been repaired.

“Wallace Hall has taken us a bit longer because we’ve done a lot of work to make sure that we have the right stains to preserve the original wood for heritage reasons,” Mr. Anderson says. “Cupido, our contractor, and Bob Polegato of Physical Plant Services, the project manager, worked really hard to make sure Wallace Hall looks exactly as it was when it was created.”

One difference, however, is the addition of three large ceiling fans to help with air circulation, making the room cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.

As a mathematics and engineering student, Mr. Anderson has gained valuable experience by being involved in the project. He isn’t the only one.

“This has been an amazing experience for me to see construction project management first hand,” he says. “In addition to me there have been a number of students who have been very involved and that has been valuable to the students themselves and to the project overall.”

A special opening event is planned for late August before the start of the school year Mr. Anderson says that the facility will be ready for registration as the masses of students return to campus for another school year.