UWindsor to construct integrated Innovation Centre and Parking Structure

Design-build project will open in the summer of 2013

The University of Windsor will construct a two-storey Innovation Centre and a seven-level parking garage with 1,055 spaces on the south side of Wyandotte street between Sunset and California. The University of Windsor will now enter into contract discussions with Newton Parking Structures Ltd. from Guelph, Ontario to construct the first ever design-build project on campus.

The University’s Board of Governors voted in favour of the project with a total budget of $25.8 million, during a meeting on Wednesday, December 14.  Revenue generated from parking and tenant occupancy within the facility will fund the project, ensuring no impact on the University’s operating budget.

“With this project, and with the downtown developments, the University is continuing to pursue better alignment with key partners in ways that can strengthen our commitment to teaching, research and community engagement. This Wyandotte-California-Sunset facility will, along with the Centre for Engineering Innovation to the east and the Odette School of Business to the north, help us create a regional address for innovation for our community,” said Dr. Alan Wildeman, President and Vice-Chancellor. “It will also enable us to consolidate much of the parking on campus onto a significantly reduced footprint, and create opportunities to add more green space and provide land for future capital development.”

The project consists of two separate buildings that are connected by a second-storey pedestrian bridge from the Innovation Centre to the parking structure. The Innovation Centre will become the new home of Campus Community Police, Parking Services, as well as services and amenities that will enhance the campus experience such as a café with a courtyard, and potentially a financial institution on the main floor. The second floor will be used as space for organizations that are engaged in innovation and enhancement of the community, and working with UWindsor students, faculty and staff.

Some of the current surface lot parking will be centralized into the new parking structure to gain cost efficiencies. The affected lots will then be repurposed into green space or will be used for future development. As a result, the new parking structure will add approximately 300 spaces to the overall inventory of parking across campus, bringing the total availability up to 3,000.

The exterior parking structure façade will use louvers, coloured glass and steel mesh to help screen the vehicles, but inside, each level will have unimpeded sight lines.  “One of the important safety features of the parking structure design is the use of wide open space; you can see from one end to the other without any columns,” said Wildeman. He added that surveillance cameras and bright lighting would also be installed as standard safety features.

Construction will begin in early 2012 and will be completed during the summer of 2013. Plans are currently underway to conduct a full review of UWindsor’s entire parking program and allocations, with the support of the university’s Parking Advisory Committee. Details of the parking review will be communicated to the campus community early in the New Year.

Innovation Centre Facts:

  • The building is set back from the street to allow clear sight lines to the Centre for Engineering Innovation (CEI) and to create community gathering spaces on geometric patios under sloping architectural canopies with green roofs
  • The design complements the architecture of the CEI with an extensive use of glass and flat rooflines that overhang the building, with wood on the undersides. Paving choices will match those used at the CEI.
  • A total of 40,800 total square feet on two floors. First floor covers 22,600 square feet and includes a welcoming lobby area, Campus Community Police, Parking Services, office space, a cafe with a courtyard, and potentially a financial institution
  • Second floor covers 16,800 square feet to house the Innovation Centre activity
  • A welcoming lobby encased in glass extends beyond the roofline of the building
  • A pedestrian bridge located on the second floor connects to the parking structure
  • A ground-level walkway between the Innovation Centre and the Parking Structure allows easy access between Sunset and California. This walkway is strategically positioned above an underground utility service tunnel and provides future access if required.


Parking Structure Facts:

  • Seven-level building accommodates 1,055 vehicles within 295,000 square feet
  • Innovative design does not use columns, which offers unimpeded sight-lines that span the entire level for increased safety
  • Four staircases and two elevator lobbies use maximum glazing for added security
  • The exterior façade is covered with louvers, glass and galvanized steel in a random pattern to attractively screen vehicles
  • The parking levels consist of CANADACAR precast decking assembled on-site, which speeds construction
  • Two entrances, one off of Sunset, one off of California, will be operated by UWindsor staff
  • In-and-out parking available with pay stations, as well as permit parking
  • All accessible parking will be located on the ground floor, 18 spaces in total
  • 20 parking stalls will be equipped for charging electric vehicles
  • Covered bike racks will accommodate 70 bicycles, located along the walkway between the two buildings

Rendering of Integrated Innovation Centre and Parking Structure

 Rendering of the Integrated Innovation Centre and Parking Structure at the corner of California and Wyandotte Rendering of Integrated Innovation Centre and Parking Structure

Profile of the Integrated Innovation Centre and Parking Structure from Sunset Ave.