On Friday morning the drums boomed, the red carpet rolled out and the welcome banner was unveiled on Humber’s newest building.
There were booths and events on all six floors of the newly built Learning Resource Commons (LRC). Students and staff were able to grab a smoothie from Humber Sustainability, while the culinary students offered up waffles, and a chocolate fountain for all attendees.
“This is very exciting,” said Chris Whitaker, president and CEO of Humber College. The LRC will serve as the new front door to the school’s North campus, he explained.
“Look at it!” exclaimed Ahmed Tahir, President of the Humber Students’ Federation. “From outside, inside, it looks absolutely beautiful,” he said.
Standing at six storeys tall and 264 thousand square feet, it is estimated that the new LRC will accommodate more than 2,200 students.
Windows on the front of the building and large amounts of free space inside gives an open feel to the space. Even with the large crowd present for the celebration the building still felt welcoming.
“It doesn’t sacrifice any substance for style,” said Tahir, adding it’s one of his favourite things about the new building.
Creation of a sense of place and an active, animated and welcoming environment are what the team envisioned for the space said Rani Dhaliwal, CFO and Vice President of Corporate planning and services for Humber College.
“There’s a sense of energy and vibrancy, which is in the design,” said Whitaker.
Access to the building has been available since the spring. The college briefly opened the LRC’s doors on April 18 to 4,000 prospective students and their families for an open house, explained Whitaker.
Today was the first day that faculty and students alike were able to get together and celebrate the opening of the new space, he added.
The LRC represents a series of firsts and not just for Humber, explained Dhaliwal.
“This is the largest building that the ministry has ever funded for any post secondary education institution.”
The Ontario government funded $74.5 million while Humber contributed $4.5 million to complete the project.
“It took us 677 days to complete, that may seem like a long time, but it wasn’t really, it went really quickly,” said Whitaker.
“It’s a wonderful building that will stand here for generations to come,” he said.