Brescia’s Bold New Residence and Dining Pavilion
Cornerstone Architecture Incorporated
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New Brescia Bold Residence Complex
On April 3, Brescia had a momentous Groundbreaking Ceremony to mark the construction of our exciting new residence and dining pavilion, in support of our 2010-2015 strategic plan, Living Leadership. The new complex will sit between Ursuline Hall and the St. James building and will be a glorious addition to our existing buildings. The opportunity to build community and further empower our students is what lies at the heart of our strategic plan and our new building project. The complex, to open its doors in September 2013, will answer the needs of today's students who want modernity, privacy, barrier-free accessibility, and nutritious food.
In this new residence, designed by Cornerstone Architecture Inc., a series of houses – with groupings of two single rooms that share a bathroom – will provide a family-like atmosphere for 32 to 40 students in each house. In total there will be space for 300 students, up from our current 190 beds. Each room will boast big closets (something our students told us they wanted) and window seats for an extra space to curl up to read or look out over the beautiful new courtyards to be designed in conjunction with the residence project.
The single-story marché style dining pavilion will seat 300 and will be open to the public. Several stations, each serving fresh, made-to-order dishes with a planned emphasis on local foods, will appeal to students and visitors alike. But a picture paints a thousand words so enjoy looking at early plans for our bold new residence. The entire project has been designed with a view to environmental sustainability and we are aiming for a Green Globes designation.
Our overarching strategic objective, as outlined in our 2010-2015 strategic plan Living Leadership, is to grow Brescia’s enrolment by 200 students over the course of the Plan. To accommodate this growth, we need to increase our current residence with its 190 beds to a total of 300 beds.
Long before the arrival of the environmental movement, the Ursuline Sisters managed Brescia in ways that demonstrated a deep commitment to sound ecological practices. In 1925 when they purchased almost 50 acres of land, there were only two trees on the property. Our new residence will benefit from evolving technologies that ensure a modest environmental footprint.
One of Brescia’s jewels, our program in Food and Nutritional Sciences, exposes our students to cutting-edge research in nutrition, food science, and the critical importance of sourcing food locally. As with Brescia’s weekly farmer’s market, our new facilities will emphasize fresh, nutritious, local foods to share with the community.
We continue to live out Brescia’s 90-year-old mission of providing access to education for women in our community. Our planned facilities will provide enhanced physical and financial access to education.
Since the earliest days, Brescia has been a very good neighbour in our larger community. Our new Dining Pavilion is being designed with a view to inviting the community in, and to providing spaces to gather and connect, whether that be over a coffee or lunch.
Key Features of our new Residence and Dining Pavilion
Organized into “houses” with small groupings of students, rooms will all be single and will either have their own bathrooms or will share with one other student. Many rooms will be fully accessible and each house will have common spaces and study rooms for group work. While the focus will be on serving our residents, this facility will be open to the public for dining in a ‘marché-style’ with several stations, each serving fresh, made-to-order dishes.
Parking and Traffic
Access to the back parking lot will remain the same and parking spaces will be equivalent in number to what we currently have although there will be slightly less parking on the western edge of our campus behind Ursuline Hall. Student traffic to and from campus will continue to be captured primarily in two ways: (a) shuttle buses that transport students to campus via our private driveway off Western Road and (b) pedestrian movement via the same private driveway.
The Brescia Experience
Residence life enables our students to be actively involved in their university experience. One of only two all-female residences on the Western and affiliate campuses, our residence will enable our students to continue to be good neighbours to those living in the surrounding area, as they show leadership in our community and seek to be the change that is needed in the world.
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