Construction has officially begun on Humber College Lakeshore campus’ Athletics Facility and Welcome Centre.
Surrounded by curious students working away on projects in the L-1000 computer lab, Humber dignitaries took up a shovel and made the first digs into the ground to mark the beginning of construction for the two new buildings on Jan. 23.
Soil was brought indoors in a wheelbarrow so participants could avoid braving the crisp January weather.
“I’d be remiss to say I’m not impressed with the innovation that we are actually taking the outdoor sod inside, keeping us nice and warm and comfortable, thank you very much for that,” said Mike Wieninger, Toronto District Manager from PCL Constructors Canada Inc.
It has been exactly six years and five months since Humber acquired the lands to start construction on the new Welcome Centre and Athletics Facility, said Rani Dhaliwal, senior vice president of planning and corporate services for Humber.
For some students the groundbreaking ceremony was the first time they heard about the new buildings.
Human Resources Management student April Bosworth was thrilled to hear what the ceremony was all about.
“I think it’s really great because I feel like this campus doesn’t have as much as the North campus does,” said Bosworth. “It’s convenient if there is somewhere to work out right on campus.”
It is expected the Athletic Centre will be completed in fall 2015, while the Welcome Centre is slated to open next January.
The three-story, 24,000 square foot Athletics Centre will include cardio, fitness, aerobics facilities, and more, said Humber president and CEO Chris Whitaker, who joined Humber Students’ Federation president Tom Walton and Lakeshore campus principal Wanda Buote at the ceremony.
“The Welcome Centre will give students that first stop, first look as they come into campus,” he said. “The Welcome Centre and athletics facility are physical examples of our commitment to our students.”
Whitaker said the new centre will be home to a number of student services that will be relocated from different parts of the campus.
It will also include an Interpretive Centre that will chronicle the history of the grounds of the campus as well as the Aboriginal heritage of the area.
“It will be great to watch these new spaces take shape and support our diverse, vibrant and engaged campus,” said Walton.
Wieninger said the success of other projects, such as the North campus’ Learning Resource Commons, has fostered a good relationship between PCL and Humber.
“We have a cracker-jack team ready to rock and roll and we’re super pumped and ready to go on this thing. We wish we were out there building already,” he said.