Last week on November 1, the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) held a discussion forum for students and faculty. The meeting addressed some of the university’s latest projects, including the UTM Campus Master Plan, the Science Building, the new residence, the F2 building project, and the CUP2 node expansion. The panel consisted of Professor Alexandra Gillespie, the vice-president and principal of UTM; Susan Senese, the interim chief administrative officer of the executive committee; and Luke Barber, the interim executive director of facilities management and planning at UTM.
“There’s a lot of building activity going on here at UTM. Although we have done a lot of building and capital development in the last decade, UTM is still in that mode of building up the infrastructure we need to support such a large body of outstanding world-class researchers and students,” says Gillespie as she highlights some of the university’s latest upcoming capital development projects.
The outlook of UTM’s campus will be redefined in the upcoming years, with several noteworthy capital project developments already in progress or under planning.
Students who regularly visit the gym may notice a visible construction site next to the RAWC and below the William G. Davis Building. The construction plot will transform into the New Science Building and is slated for substantial completion by Summer 2023.
“The New Science Building is a [Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)] gold-rated science facility that includes a geothermal field for heating and cooling, making it one of the greenest scientific buildings in North America,” puts forth Barber.
The facility sizes at 7000 net assignable square meters, which include spaces usable for programming, thus not including corridors, washrooms, and utility rooms. There will be an additional 31 collaborative veterinary research laboratories in the building, boosting the total campus capacity by 40 per cent. Researchers will be offered full support during the transition from existing buildings to the completed science building complex.
The next project focuses on creation of the Students Services Hub. This yet-to-be tendered project would be the third phase of a multi-stage William G. Davis Building renovation plan and will be slated for substantial completion by March 2023. Student services such as the Health and Counselling Centre (HCC), Accessibility Services, and the Career Centre among many others, will be relocated to this hub upon its completion.
The target of this project is to consolidate campus resources and services at a single hub, thus inspiring creative collaboration between students and providing the best possible support to the student body. With this, it is hoped that students have a holistic learning experience during their time at UTM and achieve success not limited to the scope of academics alone.
Another project consists of the F2 build which is comprised of the Arts, Culture and Technology (ACT) building, along with the Robotics Laboratory Environment (RLE) building. The primary focus of this relates to the fields of computer sciences, robotics, and Communication, Culture, Information & Technology (CCIT), providing 8300 net assignable square meters of space. The project is to be located outside the Outer Circle Road and is currently slated for substantial completion between 2025 and 2026.
Another part of the F2 build is the CUP2 project where geothermal fields will be constructed under the F2 build constructs. The CUP2 project is part of UTM’s three-node energy plan, which aims to achieve the campus’ low carbon strategy, also allowing future facilitation of a carbon-neutral, or optimistically, carbon-positive campus.
Accounting for UTM’s student population, the next project is the construction of a 400-bed student housing complex, expected for substantial completion between 2026 and 2027. The building will be located in the vicinity of the Schreiberwood Residences and connect to the existing Oscar Peterson Hall (OPH) via an outdoor canopy.
With the increase of student housing capacity, the UTM student community will expand, facilitating increased peer connections. More students may benefit from improved academic performance through the utilization of readily accessible in-person campus resources and an overall beneficial residence experience.
In the years to come, UTM will see many of its capital development projects completed, with progressively more being tendered and started, all of which are aimed towards enhancing every student’s university experience.