May 13, 2009, 5:13 AM
Long-awaited Accounting wing is open
University of Waterloo Daily Bulletin - Monday, May 11, 2009
Windows in all the offices, floor-to-ceiling windows in stairwells, windows brightening the three-storey atrium, windows flooding the study space with light — that’s the constant impression in the new Accounting wing of Hagey Hall of the Humanities.
“Light!” says Jim Barnett, director of the school of accounting and finance, who took me on an informal tour of the building Friday morning. “That’s one thing that the architect did very well.”
He shows off other touches by architect Laird Robertson — including an ingenious way of providing air supply to the lecture halls through the floor rather than the ceiling, cutting down on fan noise — and reiterates how happy he and his colleagues are with their long-awaited new home (pictured above in an architects’ drawing).
It’s a little more than two years since the groundbreaking ceremony for the new wing, northeast of the original 1970 Hagey Hall. The nominal budget for the three-storey building: $12.3 million.
Construction has taken far longer than anybody expected — in part because of painstaking attention to every detail of the building, says UW vice-president (administration and finance) Dennis Huber. “Design detail takes time to implement,” he said last week.
And Barnett, walking me through the building, was happy to show off some of the details: “power at every seat” in the lecture halls so students can plug in their laptops; a hallway running backstage of each classroom so a disabled faculty member can avoid stairs; a curved wall in the atrium where an electronic display board will complement permanent plaques honouring the building’s donors.
He and other faculty and staff in the accounting school have actually been using the building’s third floor since January. Crowding was getting so bad in their old space, in the east wing of Hagey Hall, that they made special arrangements to have the office wing finished and temporary drywall installed to block off the rest of the building while work continued on classrooms and the atrium.
A link between the new wing and the original building is open at third-floor level; links on the first and second floors are expected any day now, after workers finish a few more details. Friday morning, one worker was moving materials in the atrium, another was connecting audio-visual equipment in a classroom, and two more were putting trees in their holes outside the building’s west side, facing what amounts to a new Humanities quadrangle.
Lecture halls of various sizes provide a total of 600 seats, Barnett told me. The smaller rooms went into use a week ago today, with the beginning of spring term classes, and the biggest one, a 200-seat theatre, will be ready shortly.
Coming a little later will be a café on the main floor of the building, to be operated by UW’s food services. Grand opening celebrations for the Accountancy wing are scheduled for September 8, the day after Labour Day.
May 14, 2009, 12:41 AM
I have been inside and it's a really neat building with a VERY useful study space in the second floor, I just wish that UW renovated or demolished the oldest buildings...
Sep 20, 2009, 4:17 AM
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