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October 24, 2002 Concordia set to double residence capacity by 2004




by Melanie Takefman

Concordia will accommodate 185 additional students in its residences by 2004 due to the acquisition of the Loyola Jesuit residence and the conversion of the HB wing of Hingston Hall.

The expansion will relieve a pressing need for housing at Concordia. Three hundred people are currently on a waiting list for Hingston Hall’s 144 beds, according to Laurel Leduc, of Residence Administration.

The purchase of the Jesuit residence was part of Concordia’s 10-year plan presented to the city of Montreal that included the construction of the Loyola Science Complex and the new John Molson School of Business building.

The Jesuit residence will accommodate 54 students while the HB block of Hingston Hall has space for approximately 131 beds, with shared bathrooms. Since the Jesuit residence already contains living quarters, “it’s easy to convert for our students,” said Martine Lehoux, director of Facilities Planning and Development.

As for the Communications, Journalism and Mathematics and Statistics Departments that are currently based in the HB block of Hingston Hall, they will move to the Sir George Williams campus.

Both the Departments of Journalism and Communication Studies will move into the Drummond Building and the Mathematics and Statistics Department will move into parts of the Vanier Library that will be vacated by the Faculties of Fine Arts and Engineering and Computer Science.

While Lehoux hopes that the residence expansion will be completed in time for the beginning of the fall 2004 semester, nothing is confirmed.

“It’s a domino effect. Everything is dependent on other projects,” Lehoux said.
Leduc said that she is excited about the increase in residence space because it is so difficult for new students to find housing, particularly international students. In Montreal, housing vacancy is 0.7 per cent.

Twenty spots are presently reserved for international students at Hingston Hall. The rest are open to first-year students only, on a first-come first-serve basis.
The mix of people makes for a “melting pot” environment, Leduc said.

People must learn to deal with each other’s foibles and the seductive freedom of living away from their parents for the first time.

“It’s its own little community. [The residents] look out for each other,” Leduc said