Construction will begin in March, 2012 at Conrad Grebel University College, Waterloo, Ont. on a $6.3 million addition to the academic building, particularly the library and archives. It will be completed by August, 2013, “just in time for the beginning of the College’s 50th anniversary,” notes outgoing president Henry Paetkau.
The board approved the project at its April 28 meeting, calling it “The Next Chapter” capital campaign. The expansion will triple the capacity of the Mennonite Archives of Ontario, double study space in the library, increase music department space by 5,000 square feet and create a new community education facility for Peace and Conflict Studies. It will also create a clear, welcoming entrance to the College.
Plans for the new addition will be available on Wednesday, June 1, at 7:30 pm in the Conrad Grebel Great Hall, during a presentation by archivist Laureen Harder-Gissing from the Mennonite Archives of Ontario.
“Initial interest and support has been enthusiastic and generous,” reports Scott Beech, chair of the Capital Fundraising Advisory Committee. “More than $2.9 million has already been raised in gifts and pledges toward a minimum fundraising target of $3.7 million. The remaining donations will be raised through a public fundraising campaign officially launched on May 6.” A grant application to Canadian Heritage is in process and other funding will come from annual revenue for graduate teaching, reserves, and an internal mortgage.
“Good work space is essential for graduate students,” observes Laura Stemp-Morlock, a graduate student in Theological Studies. “Having an area in the library where we can focus, access, and organize our research materials is extremely helpful.”
“This new facility will be a focal point for community outreach and education and enhance the academic program’s facilities for the next 50 years,” said Grebel’s Dean, Dr. James Pankratz. “We are committed to making the unique resources of the Archives more accessible to the community. The Music program will enjoy expanded practice and teaching facilities. Additional space for graduate programs in Theology and Peace and Conflict Studies are also imperative for future growth.”
The Board recently approved the schematic design and appointed Architecture Incorporated, who designed the John E. Toews Atrium built in 2002-03, to prepare the construction drawings. Nith Valley Construction will serve as project managers.
“This has been a very thorough and careful design process and we are thrilled with the building plans,”enthused Paul Penner, the College’s Director of Operations. “Our project managers and our building committee are confident in our cost estimates.”
--May 2, 2011
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