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Update provided on Albert Street new residence project

The Albert Street new residence project continues to move forward and some preparatory work will soon be starting on the site.

Overall, the project remains on schedule for construction to begin in August, with completion in summer 2022. The project team had planned to hold a public meeting to update the community in person; however, the current physical distancing requirements and prohibition of public gatherings due to COVID-19 has prevented this from happening.

Over the past couple of months, Queen’s has worked with the City of Kingston on the submission and review of a Site Plan Control application for this project. This followed a consultation process that Queen’s launched in mid-2019, including two community open houses and many conversations with neighbours and community members. With the Site Plan Control application now submitted and reviewed by city staff, the City of Kingston’s planning committee is expected to consider the application at its meeting on May 28.

In the meantime, preparatory work for the project is now beginning on site. Hazardous material abatement starts this week inside the houses on the site and is expected to take approximately two weeks. At the same time, the process of fencing off the site will also begin, as well as water disconnections. During this time, you can expect to see workers and waste bins present on the site.

Following the abatement process, interior work will commence at 142 and 144 Albert St., the two houses that will be retained. This work will include exposing and assessing the structure of the houses so that they can be incorporated safely into the new residence. Preparatory work will also begin in late May on 148, 152, and 154 Albert St. in advance of demolition, which is planned for early June.

While Queen’s has made every effort to retain as many trees as possible on the site, there are a number that must be removed. Particular efforts have been taken to retain most of the mature trees on Albert Street, and tree protection measures will be in place during the construction process. Where possible, Queen’s intends to use wood from the trees that must be removed in various campus projects. In recognition of the hybrid tree that will be removed from the site, the university will plant butternut trees in its arboretum. The existing tree was examined by an arborist but not deemed salvageable.

Several questions regarding access to the laneway between the new residence and the houses which border it have been received. The university intends to keep that laneway accessible throughout the project, with the exception of any short-term requirements to close it for operational and public safety. When these brief closures are required, the university will communicate directly with affected neighbours.

In the interim, project information can be found online at queensu.ca/newresidence and any questions can be directed to newresidenceproject@queensu.ca.