The release of a new master plan for the University of Windsor campus could not have come at a better time, says Rob Crawford, president of the undergraduate student government.
“In our 50th anniversary year, we are looking back and now looking forward to the next 50 years,” he says.
He points to the launch of a new logo, the opening of the Centre for Engineering Innovation, plans for a downtown campus and an economic development cluster and says the time is right for designs that make the UWindsor campus its own unique place.
The Board of Governors approved the Campus Master Plan at its June 18 meeting, establishing a vision for the next 50 years. Among the highlights for Crawford are the consolidation of residences south of Wyandotte Street, the creation of an amphitheatre in what is now the residence quad, and the extension of the campus to the banks of the Detroit River.
“Moving campus to the riverfront to give us an international presence would be really cool,” he says.
The plan—developed by +VG Architects in consultation with administration, faculty, students and community stakeholders— heightens the sense of arrival on campus with impressive gateway signage and welcoming points of interest.
It envisions new pedestrian pathways enhanced with lighting, landscaping and signage that will lead to various hubs of activity for recreation, cultural displays, water features and gathering spaces with seating.
The plan does not project timelines, says UWindsor president Alan Wildeman, but is meant to work in conjunction with the Campus Transformation Plan to determine how buildings connect, and what form the spaces between buildings will take.
“This document will act as a guide for future decisions regarding the aesthetics of new buildings, and it identifies key projects that could help unify the campus, and that could be undertaken as funding opportunities permit,” he says.
Review the new Campus Master Plan at www.uwindsor.ca/campus-master-plan.
Board approves $8 million budget for Welcome Centre
Also during Tuesday’s meeting, the Board of Governors approved proceeding with plans to award the design-build contract for the Welcome Centre within an overall budget of $8 million. The Welcome Centre will be the first capital project to specifically align with the design concepts in the Campus Master Plan.
Located near the northwest corner of Sunset Avenue and Wyandotte Street, the Welcome Centre will function as the front door to campus, becoming the official address and main identifier of the university. The building will be approximately 20,000 square feet and will house the administrative offices of student admissions and recruitment, alumni affairs, annual giving and stewardship, the University campaign office, public affairs and communications and a bookstore kiosk to sell branded merchandise.
The awarding of the design/build contract is scheduled for August with construction beginning this fall, and completion projected for the end of 2014.