Big changes are coming to campus.
A $48-million, four-storey, 100,000 square foot Ontario Tech building is under construction immediately east of the library.
It’s all part of the master plan, says Brad MacIsaac, Ontario Tech’s assistant vice-president for the office of planning and analysis.
The building is expected to be ready at the end of summer 2021.
MacIsaac says it will be ready for students in September of 2021 “or I will be in big trouble.”
He says the Ontario Tech Student Union and Student Life, which are currently housed in portables, are finally getting a permanent home.
The new building will also have more research labs, classrooms and faculty offices, as well as space for different societies and clubs.
The structure will have a shelled fifth floor for future construction.
“We are also looking to move Health Sciences from the UAE building and moving them into this new building – name to be determined,” says MacIsaac.
He says he is excited for it all to come together, adding the first floor will feature open space and have lounge seating, creating a social environment for students.
“A place where people will be able to meet and talk but we’d be able to move the seating out and at night have an event space,” says MacIsaac, adding it will be somewhat like The Pit at Durham College.
“That factor of a flexible space that is large enough to be a conference centre on nights and weekends as we move away from just the normal 13-week course to enhanced nights, executive style over the weekend. A space we can use in different ways,” says MacIsaac.
“This building is about enhancing the quality of space rather than more space on campus,” he adds.
For the past six years, Ontario Tech and Durham College (DC) have been looking to the future aiming towards increased enrolment rates and both have big plans for the campus, he says.
The university and college have purchased land towards Windfields Farm to facilitate the impending need for more student housing and other buildings, says MacIsaac.
“What does our campus look like when we get to 50,000 students and a new research park and applied sciences and more sports complex?”
MacIssac looks after long-term capital and budgeting plans for Ontario Tech and works with Durham College to finalize what is needed and they decide what goes into future buildings.
He says the university-college partnership is special and he finds the students mingle between the schools for different needs.
He says the future is bright for Ontario Tech and DC and this partnership is a reason Oshawa is gaining notoriety as a post-secondary destination.