|Algonquin College - Expansion Proposal|
Cost: $10 million
Size: 42,000 square-feet
New student spaces : 100
Sustainability certification: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)
Projected completion: Fall 2011
Algonquin College serves the needs of communities across Eastern Ontario; although its largest urban campus offers the greatest range of programming, Algonquin is strongly committed to the delivery of programming that meets the needs of the rural communities it serves in Perth and Pembroke.
In 2007, based on the growth in activity at the Perth campus, the College began to plan an expansion and renovation of the current 38-year-old facility. At the time, a renovation to the building would require that the existing structure be brought up to the standards of the 2006 Ontario Building Code.
In conducting a structural analysis of the facility, as step one in the renewal project, structural engineering analysis identified significant shortcomings in the building’s steel structure and alerted the College that the structure needed to be reinforced significantly or replaced. Given the disruption this would cause to current students and the significant costs estimated for such a major undertaking, it became evident that the current facility had reached the end of its life and must be replaced with a new building. This new purpose-built facility will accommodate current programming, address space deficiencies, and allow for an increase in full-time student spaces from 250 to 350.
The alternative to building a new facility on the present 12–acre site would be to close the campus, which would have a significant negative economic and cultural impact on the local community. The footprint of the new facility will reflect needs identified in a rigorous analysis and the building will reflect the College commitment to build and maintain LEED certified, flexible-use, efficient structures. Investing in a new facility now will mean spending less in building operation costs over time.
The Perth Campus is well-integrated with the Town of Perth and Lanark County through its range of programming including Office Administration – Executive, Social Service Worker, Personal Support Worker and through niche programming in heritage conservation trades training based on the local character and architecture of Perth and a forward-looking carpentry program focused on advanced housing materials and construction.
Heritage program students take on projects in the local community and can take credit for the enhancement and maintenance of a number of local buildings and public structures reflecting the culture and architecture of the region that draw tourists every year to the “prettiest small town in Canada.”
Algonquin College will replace the current Perth Campus main building facility with a new building of roughly 42,000 gross square feet, at an estimated cost of $10 million, built to LEED standards. Support for this project has come from the college community and all levels of government, including a federal contribution of $4.2 million and a $4.8 million contribution from the Province of Ontario through the Knowledge Infrastructure Program.
The existing building will be removed on completion of the new structure. The current campus footprint includes a number of stand-alone small buildings which would continue to be used in the delivery of programming at the campus.
The current facility is 38 years old, inefficient to operate, and was built originally as a minimally designed steel structure. Constructing an entirely new purpose-built structure is a better investment and will ensure that the College can continue to provide education to rural Ontarians. Lower campus operation costs resulting from new building technologies and LEED standard construction will ensure that the investment does not increase College operating expenses into the future.
The College already owns the 12 acres of land on which the current structure sits. There is ample space to build a new structure. In the interim period the College has taken steps to do a minor reinforcement to the roof structure and to commit to removing snow from the roof on a continuous basis to ensure snow loads are minimized.
The new facility will, ideally, present a “heritage” facade to the community with an “advanced housing” construction on the inside. It will house modern, flexible-use, efficient shops designed for student safety and proper lighting and air quality control and will accommodate the growth of the trades programming.
This new building will help to revitalize and expand the skilled work-force training capacity of the Algonquin College Heritage Institute located in Perth, Ontario. The expansion will help produce Eastern Ontario’s workers and citizens who are trained and dedicated to building and restoring existing homes and buildings using sustainable skills and methods.
It will have expanded classroom space, improved washroom facilities, and enhanced student services facilities. Space would be provided for test-taking space, group meeting space, student-teacher meeting space (currently there is no place on campus for a one-on-one or group meeting, apart from the cafeteria), and faculty offices will be reconfigured to meet the college standard. The structure will be built to the LEED standards.
The Perth Campus welcomed the Students’ Association this year with the provision of an office. The Algonquin College Students’ Association has indicated that it is willing to commit $400,000 to the inclusion of student facilities in a new or expanded structure at Perth.
Expanding the campus will increase accessibility to post-secondary training for rural Ontarians, second-career trainees, and those seeking pre-apprenticeship foundational skills. It will introduce spaces for improved service to students which will lead to improved graduation rates. A new facility will also be a safer one, with better air quality, sight lines in workshops, and dust-containment layouts.