New residence to go up if demand does

The new residence building would be constructed between Glengarry and Renfrew houses, beginning in May 2010

( Photo: Craig Stadnyk )

 

Plans for a new residence at Carleton are in the works after approval came from the Board of Governors, but it could be some time before it gets built – if it is built.
 
“We’ve requested and have been given permission by the Board of Governors to proceed with the preliminary planning of the new residence and that’s what we’re going to do,” said Dave Sterritt, director of housing and conference services.
 
The decision about building the residence will be made in mid-June, Sterritt said, because there are many factors to consider.
 
If the residence were to be built, construction would begin in May 2010 on the vacant land between the north side of Renfrew and the south side of Glengarry, he said, with students moving in September 2011.

 “We are continuing to see a strong demand for residence accommodation by first-year students,” Sterritt said. “But we’re also continuing to see a significant demand by returning students, particularly students in their second year of study.”
 
Every year the waiting list for rooms in residence continues to be in the hundreds, said Duncan Watt, vice-president (finance and administration).
 
In past years, residence rooms have been guaranteed to all first-year students who want them, which is why the waiting list consists mostly of upper-years students.
 
In this case, the residence would hold about 400 students, which could potentially put a strain on other residence services. If needed, the university is prepared to expand food stations in the cafeteria, Watt said. Additionally, the hours for the cafeteria will be extended beginning in September, he said.
 
Carleton’s newest residence, Frontenac House, opened in September 2008 but after it was built there were still about 400 people on the waiting list, said Darryl Boyce, assistant vice-president (facilities management and planning).
 
The last three residences that have been built have each had long waiting lists, with Leeds House being built in 2001 and Prescott in 2003, Boyce said.
 
Cameron McKenzie, vice-president of the Rideau River Residence Association (RRRA), said there is a growing need for a new residence, but there are many key issues that should be looked into.
 
“I think one issue we need to look at is making sure the building is sustainable,” said McKenzie. “Since most of the new buildings Carleton is building … will be sustainable, I think so should the new residence.”
 
Sustainability and economy are important, but so are the concerns of students, McKenzie said, which is why RRRA must examine what kind of effect construction could have on students.