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Visions for the north entrance to the Armouries include signage acknowledging the building’s storied past.Visions for the north entrance to the Armouries include signage acknowledging the building’s storied past.

Armouries redevelopment project receives $32.6 million approval

The University of Windsor is set to begin the transformation of the historic Windsor Armouries into the new home for the School of Creative Arts. The Board of Governors approved a $32.6 million budget for the project at its meeting April 22.

The University will begin the process with the hiring of a construction manager to coordinate the complicated renovation of the existing 46,400 square foot property into a 66,000 square foot home for the combined programs of the School of Music, the School of Visual Arts and the new film production program.

The renovations will carefully preserve the heritage 1902 structure. Interior excavation will create an additional lower level, and enable underpinning and shoring of the foundation. A second floor will be constructed and a smaller third floor will provide space for building services. A partial demolition of the southern end of the building will allow for the addition of a 140-seat performance hall.

Other spaces will include classrooms, seminar and meeting and study rooms, computer facilities, practice studios, art and architecture studios, and offices for faculty and staff. Construction is slated to begin in June, with a plan to open for classes in the fall of 2016.

The final land transfer agreement with the City of Windsor is expected in the weeks ahead.

The majority of the funding for the project consists of the previously announced support of $15 million from the Ontario government and $10 million from the City of Windsor, in addition to the city’s donation of the building itself. The balance of the funds will come from other capital revenues and on-going fundraising efforts.

For the latest information about the University of Windsor’s expansion to the downtown core, visit www.uwindsor.ca/downtown.