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York U approves $50M build for Keele campus

DCN News Services
York U approves $50M build for Keele campus
PERKINS + WILL — Perkins + Will has been announced as the winner of a design competition for York University’s new School of Continuing Studies. York plans to break ground on the project in 2019.

TORONTO — York University has announced it will add a new School of Continuing Studies building to its Keele campus and that Perkins + Will are slated to serve as the project designer.

The university’s board of governors approved a total project budget of $50.5 million for the design and construction of the new building, a Feb. 28 statement said. York plans to break ground on the project in 2019 with classes expected to start in the new building in 2021.

The School of Continuing Studies was established three years ago.

An early design concept and budget estimate indicates a building sized at 9,000 square metres, with 39 classrooms, student lounges and social spaces, private work and breakout spaces, as well as space for 150 staff and instructors. It will be situated at the corner of The Pond Road and James Gillies Street, south of the Bennett Centre for Student Services and close to the new York University TTC Station.

“The creation of a new, standalone home for our School of Continuing Studies is another important step forward in improving access to post-secondary education at York,” said York’s president and vice-chancellor Rhonda Lenton in the statement. “This new building will enable us to create even more lifelong learning opportunities, build connections with local and international communities, and help students of all ages and backgrounds to achieve their fullest potential.”

The school held a design competition with three architectural firms shortlisted to present design concepts and preliminary costing estimates: HOK, Gow Hastings Architects with Henning Larsen, and Perkins + Will.

The firms were asked to consider how to integrate the building with the existing campus community, pedestrian and bicycle usage, as well as to consider sustainability strategies such as the use of structural cross-laminated timbers, natural light, wind, solar or geothermal technologies and a LEED Gold minimum standard, the statement noted.

Perkins + Will will also be requested to consider the possibility of achieving a net-zero standard, with the objective of minimizing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

Construction tendering will follow final design, the release indicated.

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