A Huge Thank You!

Dear members of the University community / Boozhoo / Aanii / Kwe kwe,

January 19 was a historic day for Laurentian University, with the official opening of the final capital phase of the $45 million 72,000 sq ft facilities for the McEwen School of Architecture. If you missed it, you can watch the webcast here and watch this video where you can get a glimpse of the facilities.

A huge thank you to colleagues from the McEwen School of Architecture, Facilities Services, Marketing, Communications, Advancement, Information Technology and so many other units for their exceptional work in getting us through the finish line!

The icing on the cake was the announcement by the Deputy Premier and Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development, the Hon. Deb Matthews, of the approval of the new Master’s program in Architecture scheduled to begin in September.

In December, I posted a blog asking for people to step forward to help the University develop the strategic plan that will guide us for the next five years.

Wow did you respond!

As of the nomination deadline on Monday, we received 75 nominations for the 2018-2023 Strategic Plan Steering Committee. Thirty-four (34) nominations for 10 spots to be filled on February 14th by Senate for faculty and students and 41 nominations for seven other spots to be filled on February 15th by the Nominating Committee of the Board of Governors for administrators, staff, alumni and members of the community. The first meeting of the Steering Committee is scheduled for February 27th.

I am filled with a sense of humility and pride that so many of you want to be a part of this important process.

Not everyone will make the final cut, but I promise you that everyone who threw their hats into the ring will be invited to play an important role in the strategic planning process in some fashion.

So once again, thank you and I look forward to the “season of ideas”!

As always, I welcome comments on the blog or any other matter. You can reach me at dominicgiroux@laurentian.ca, or can join the 12,300 people who follow me on FacebookTwitter or LinkedIn.

Merci, Thank you, Miigwech.

Campus Modernization Breathes New Life to our Campus

Dear members of the University community / Boozhoo / Aanii / Kwe kwe,

I mentioned in an earlier blog that 2016 featured the Summer and the Fall to remember. Well 2016 can also be remembered as another year of construction at Laurentian. There is more work to be done, but let’s take a moment to consider how far we have come. Work has been completed on the Executive Learning Centre, the University Club, the new dining facility at Alphonse Raymond, the Cardiovascular and Metabolic Research Unit Laboratory, the new bookstore, MyLaurentian Hub, new space for University Advancement and Accessibility Services, the McEwen School of Architecture, the Ben Avery Human Kinetics Laboratories and the expansion of Parking Lot #4.

Construction continues in 2017, but this year we will finish work on the RD Parker Building renovations. That includes the new Indigenous Sharing and Learning Centre, the new Multi-Faith Prayer Space, as well as the new home for Liaison, Laurentian International, the Graduate Students’ Association and the Laurentian Association of Mature and Part-Time Students. We expect that work will be completed in the Spring. The remainder of the RD Parker renovation project, which includes the new Welcome Centre Atrium and a variety of study spaces that connect the RD Parker to the Dining facility, will be completed in the late spring or very early summer. We look forward to closing this chapter of the Campus Modernization project and restoring normal access to facilities. I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and everyone of you for your patience and cooperation during the many phases of the project.

You have likely noticed the sudden change in landscape behind the Fraser building or heard the multiple blast horn signals and the blasting. I’m happy to say that the construction of the new Cliff Fielding Research, Innovation and Engineering Building is well underway. Mass rock excavation is almost finished and building the foundation is set to start soon. This is another important and interesting project to keep track of, and in the next month, a live time-lapse camera will be installed so you can monitor the progress live from your computers or mobile devices (we’ll be sure to get you the URL once enabled!). This project will be in construction mode for the entire year and will be completed in 2018. The path leading from parking lot #15 (…The Pit) to the campus will continue to be available, however you can expect detours throughout various phases of construction this year. Keep an eye out for project update emails delivered by capitalprojects@laurentian.ca. You can also email any questions or comments you might have for the team at this address.

Finally, in terms of capital projects, the Students’ General Association (SGA) held a referendum in March of 2014 in which the majority of the members voted to fund the construction of a new Student Centre. The University is working closely with the SGA and will be retaining the project architect in the near future. The architects, in partnership with the SGA, will conduct a thorough consultation process with its members in order to ensure it meets the needs of students. This is a project for the students, by the students. After receiving input, we will present a building design to the community in the Fall when students return for classes. The new Student Centre will be located at the intersection of University Road next to West Residence. Stay tuned!

As always, I welcome comments on the blog or any other matter. You can reach me at dominicgiroux@laurentian.ca, or can join the 12,300 people who follow me on FacebookTwitter or LinkedIn.

Merci, Thank you, Miigwech.