Inside DC’s new building

Photo by Shanelle Somers

The CFCE building progress facing Simcoe St.

It is the oldest building at Durham College (DC) – at least for the time being.

From 1967 to this year, DC’s original Simcoe Building has been home to thousands of students. But that is about to change.

The Simcoe Building will be demolished once DC’s newest building project, The Centre for Collaborative Education (CFCE), opens its doors, which is expected in September.

Standing four storeys high, containing 19 classrooms and three lounge areas, the CFCE is located at DC’s north campus on Simcoe Street, just north of the main entrance.

Michelle Darling, senior project manager, Project Portfolio Management and Planning, says the Simcoe Building reached a point that due to the cost of maintenance and outdated technology it became too expensive to keep operational.

 Photo by Shanelle Somers Michelle Darling, senior project manager, portfolio management and planning.

Photo by Shanelle Somers

Michelle Darling, senior project manager, portfolio management and planning.


“There was an opportunity to build a new building that reflected the style of Durham College’s pedagogy, which is collaborative learning,” says Darling.

Darling says the $40 million project had been in the works for five years and was financed with money from the federal and provincial governments, Durham District School Board and DC’s fundraising team.

The CFCE building has many features DC is excited about to achieve its goal of being an eco-friendly and sustainable project.

Darling says the building’s mechanical and energy systems, cleaning products, toilets, LED lights, design and heating and cooling systems are made with the intention of being eco-friendly. The CFCE plans to include a green space in place of the Simcoe Building once it has been demolished.

Aside from containing 19 classrooms and three lounge areas, the CFCE building will be dedicating its first floor to two large classrooms – one containing 80 seats, the other 50 seats.

The first floor will also hold the Global Classroom, mini breakout classrooms, the Aboriginal Student Centre, FastStart, eating and seating areas.

The second floor will house DC’s Cosmetic Techniques and Spa Management program and the Esthetician and Spa Management program.

 Photo by Shanelle Somers The CFCE building in progress.

Photo by Shanelle Somers

The CFCE building construction in progress.


The third floor will hold 10 classrooms for Durham College’s Centre for Success in partnership with the Durham District School Board and the nursing program will be moving to the fourth floor as it is designated to patient care science.

The CFCE is also including two new features which are newly-designed study spaces for students located on each floor as well as a napping pod area for students to have a rest between classes.

The construction of the building is set to be completed by Apr. 28 by Eastern Construction who, Darling says, has worked hard to keep the building on schedule from when they first began in Nov. 14, 2016.

“In the 11 years I have worked here I can’t believe how Durham College has grown,” Darling says.

“The consideration that’s given to the student experience is just a real thing in every level of the process when we are designing these new buildings and building them. The conversations are real around the table, you’ve got to think of the student experience.”

From May 1 – Aug. 15 the new CFCE will be furnished and set to be ready for academic startup in September.

Photos below courtesy of the project management office.

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Shanelle is a second-year journalism student at Durham College. She is passionate about writing and telling stories. She enjoys the daily news, music, travel and creating multi-media content. In her spare time she works at a local retirement residence and volunteers within the community.