Open house to outline plans for downtown campus

The public will have a chance to say goodbye to the Windsor Armouries and view the University’s plans for its downtown campus during an open house in the building on Thursday, October 4.

The event will run 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the historical building, located on University Avenue at Freedom Way. UWindsor president Alan Wildeman, project managers, architects and representatives from the City of Windsor will be on-hand to discuss plans for the development of the Armouries, as well as the former bus depot across the street and the Windsor Star complex several blocks to the west.

Veronika Mogyorody, the University’s academic architectural advisor, says many members of the community have an attachment to the Armouries building, either as members of the armed forces units that used the facility or as attendees at the many public events it has hosted over the years.

“Everybody has a special spot for the armouries,” she says. “I also think people will appreciate the chance for some closure—this will be their last opportunity to see it before construction begins.”

She says Windsorites will be excited to see details of the planned renovations, which will remake the armouries as a home for music and visual arts programs.

“The architects CS&P have done a great job,” says Dr. Mogyorody. “They have respected the building and the heritage aspects of its architecture.”

She points out that most good architecture, although it may have been conceived for one purpose, will find multiple uses over its life.

“What makes cities really exciting are the multiple examples of buildings through time,” she says. “You see a balance of the new and the older structures.”

Susan Mark, executive director of facility services, says the city government has been a wonderful partner in the process.

“It has been just fantastic working with the city,” she says. “They see this project as a boon for downtown and as an asset for the city as a whole.”

When the downtown campus opens in 2014, the University will bring approximately 1,500 students, faculty and staff into the heart of the city. In addition to the armouries project, the bus depot will become a home to film production facilities and the Windsor Star buildings will house the School of Social Work and the Centre for Executive and Professional Education.

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