Community welcomes changes to UWindsor campus

The university is a safe and friendly neighbourhood, says Askin Avenue resident Lena Angelidis—and she is glad to see continued cooperation to make it stay that way.

She was among dozens of neighbours to join community leaders, students, faculty and staff at an open house Wednesday, learning about ambitious plans to remake the University of Windsor campus.

“The plans are very exciting,” Angelidis said. As a native of the city, she added she is particularly glad to see the downtown campus. “My husband and I have owned businesses in the core. Downtown has always been a big part of our lives.”

Neighbour Mike Cardinal called the plans “a breath of fresh air.”

“The designs are people-friendly and well-conceived,” he said. “It puts the university at its proper footprint within the city.”

Victoria Townsend, a doctoral student of engineering, said she was interested to see what her colleagues in the profession have been up to.

“I think it’s neat that they had people from the university but also from the broader community,” she said. “Making those connections is important for both the campus and the city.”

Alaa Bondok, a third-year biology student, called the proposals very creative.

“I think it is pretty amazing what they’re doing,” she said. “They’re really taking initiative to improve some of these facilities.”

In addition to a formal presentation by UWindsor president Alan Wildeman, experts were on hand to discuss with guests the University’s two-phase plan.

The first runs to 2015 and includes:

  • Projects already completed, like the International Student centre and renovations to Dillon Hall;
  • projects nearing completion, like the Centre for Engineering Innovation and streetscaping along Wyandotte Street;
  • those underway, like the construction of the integrated parking structure and Innovation Centre; and
  • those in the planning stages, like the construction of a Welcome Centre and the conversion of a block of Sunset Avenue to a pedestrian esplanade.

The second phase, beginning in 2015, will feature consolidation of student service areas, improvements to athletics facilities, and enhancements of Essex Hall, the Ron Ianni Law Building, and the Leddy Library.

Find more information, including maps of the proposed changes, on the Web site of the Campus Transformation Plan.