Infrastructure investments underway at Mount Allison this summer
It will be a busy summer on the Mount Allison campus with several different infrastructure projects planned.
Both short and longer-term projects have either already begun, or will commence in the near future, in locations across campus. Visitors are reminded to be cautious around construction sites, to follow any posted signage, and to remain outside any protective fencing.
The University is currently in the midst of a significant period of campus renewal that will see approximately $100 million invested in infrastructure improvements, including recently completed renovations to the Gairdner Building, Barclay Building, and Windsor Hall, and upcoming projects like the R. P. Bell Library renovation.
Robert Inglis, vice-president, finance and administration, says the infrastructure investments have been carefully planned to ensure current and future students have access to campus facilities that meet their needs, without the University incurring long-term debt.
“All of the projects also consider environmental impact. Improving energy efficiency, for example, through heating, insulation, lighting, and other means, is a key goal in all of our major renovation projects,” he says. “It benefits everyone if we can provide better facilities while reducing our carbon footprint.”
Neil MacEachern, Mount Allison’s director of facilities management, is helping to lead the campus projects with external contractors and colleagues across campus.
“We are really excited about the breadth of projects on deck for this summer,” says MacEachern. “They will bring additions to our residence facilities, upgrades to our athletic facilities, and improve safety and accessibility on campus.”
The summer’s projects include:
Work has already begun on the complete renovation of the gymnasium in the University’s Athletic Centre. The project will include the replacement of the gym floor, new bleachers, and improvements to electrical, mechanical, and ventilation systems. This is the first phase of a multi-phase project to revitalize and expand the Athletic Centre.
Significant renovations are taking place in Charlotte House, a small residence located on Charlotte Street. The building has been used as a student residence since 1977, but has been closed for a number of years. It will re-open this fall as part of Mount Allison’s small residence community and will be home to approximately 30 students.
A project is also underway for the area around the University Chapel, with a focus on improving safety and accessibility. The brickwork in the circular driveway has deteriorated over time and will be removed in favour of a new, more accessible surface. In addition, the existing steps to the Chapel are being improved and a permanent concrete ramp is being installed as the first stage in the process of making the Chapel fully accessible.
Preparations have commenced on an extensive interior and exterior renovation of Harper Hall, a two-year project that is expected to begin this fall. Harper will be closed at the end of the summer and will re-open in September 2024.
In order to facilitate access to the worksite, the University is constructing a controlled-access service roadway behind Harper Hall that will connect the Main Street entrance to campus, located near the heating plant, through to Jennings Dining Hall and Rectory Lane.
Construction on the roadway began May 17 and is expected to take about three weeks. It will allow both Facilities Management and contractors to bypass the construction zone around Harper Hall. Long-term, the road will enhance access for emergency vehicles and, once the Harper Hall renovation is complete, offer a less disruptive roadway connection for larger delivery vehicles.
“We appreciate everyone’s patience as we move forward with these projects,” MacEachern says. “I would also remind all members of our campus community, as well as any visitors, to be mindful of construction sites when crossing campus or using University facilities.”
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