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October 24, 2002 New buildings are on track



The new Integrated Engineering Computer Science and Visual Arts Complex. Watch this space!

File photo

by Barbara Black

This June will see movement towards occupying the new Science Building on the Loyola Campus, and by September, the facility should be fully operational.

The building will cover 33,000 square metres spread over seven floors, five above ground and two below. This will include modern laboratories and other facilities, as well as offices for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.

While the construction of the building is privately financed and therefore exempt from a requirement to include new art works, display cases will showcase part of the university’s art holdings.

The move will take several months and careful co-ordination. For example, 200,000 volumes will be moved from the R. Howard Webster Library downtown to the Georges P. Vanier Library at Loyola. These will be materials in biology, chemistry, physics, psychology, agriculture, and the health sciences.

David Thirlwall, head of the Vanier Library, said, “The material selected to be moved occupies the equivalent of 15,020 feet of shelf space. Seven thousand boxes will be needed to pack the material, and when stacked, these boxes will occupy about 13,000 square feet. This will be not only one of the largest events in our libraries’ history, but also one of the most complex.”

The Drummond Science Building at Loyola, which dates from the 1960s, is being examined with a view to major renovation.

Meanwhile, downtown, excavation for the Engineering, Computer Science and Visual Arts Building at Guy and Ste. Catherine Sts. is finished and on budget. While the intense cold has slowed things down a little, structural work is well underway, and once again, it is on budget.
The tentative date for partial occupation by the Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science is December 2004, and for the visual arts component of the building, August 2005.

The side of the immense building will boast a public work of art, showcased on the glass section of the “curtain wall” on Mackay St. at the corner of Ste. Catherine St. W (see photo, left). At roughly 6,000 square feet and a cost of about $425,000, it will be the largest commission ever under the province’s art integration program, which requires government-funded buildings to incorporate works by Quebec artists. Of 50 applicants, five artists are on the shortlist, and four of them are Concordia graduates. The jury’s decision is expected to be made in early March — watch for the announcement in one of our spring issues.

The planning phase is winding down for the new John Molson School of Business, to be built on the west side of Guy St. As with the engineering/visual arts building, parking space has been eliminated. This was done under agreement with the city to maximize academic and recreational use of the space and take advantage of access to the métro.

The new JMSB is expected to open in December 2005.