North Building Phase 2 is still currently in development and expected to open on schedule in late August of 2018.
UTM’s chief administrative officer, Paul Donoghue, acknowledged in email correspondence with The Medium that construction of the North Building Phase B was “on-time and proceeding as scheduled.”
The new Phase B will house the departments of Sociology, Political Science, English and Drama, Language Studies, Historical Studies and Philosophy. Also housed in the building will be the Robert Gillespie Academic Skills Centre, classrooms – some of which will be ‘active learning’ classrooms, study spaces, and special event and gathering space. The building will boast a silver Leadership in Energy and Environment Design certification, as well.
Phase B is part of a two-step plan to redevelop UTM’s north campus and will complete the phased demolition of the original North Building. The original structure was built more than forty years ago as a “temporary” structure.
According to a 2014 UTM Campus Council public agenda, the overall construction initially cost $121.2 million dollars. Donations, matching funds, provincial funding, and reallocation of the campus operating budget have largely financed the construction costs to date.
In an interview with The Medium in September 2016, Donoghue had acknowledged that latching onto the original North Building longer would prove to be “a sinkhole for money”.
“It’s expensive and inefficient to operate. It just didn’t warrant further investment of resources to upgrade,” he had stated.
When asked about the food options available on campus, Donoghue cited spatial constraints as the primary reason that Phase B would lack food vendors and an eating space.
“The space program did not allow enough room for expanded food services. Only a small coffee kiosk will be included in the special event space located in the main atrium,” Donoghue said “the building will be served by the facilities already located in Deerfield Hall which will be joined to North 2, the nearby Instructional Building and Oscar Peterson Hall. Other outlets on campus include a planned revitalized Meeting Place with a permanent food court.”
“There will be an official ribbon-cutting and opening event. usually held in September or October, after the building is occupied. Details will be broadly communicated closer to that date,” added Donoghue. The grand opening ceremony is expected to take place early in the Fall 2018 term.