Ground ‘broken’ for nipissing u. student centre
It’s been a long time coming. That was the reaction Friday from Nipissing University students and alumni during the groundbreaking ceremony to kick off construction of the $13-million student centre.
The Nipissing University Student Union (NUSU), which has been collecting fees from students since 2003 to finance the building, is working with the university on the project.
Completion of the 32,000-squarefoot centre, located at the corner of College Drive and Monestary Road, is slated for 2020.
NUSU president Daniel Goulard said the project will undoubtedly improve student life at Nipissing.
“There’s been a lot of excitement from current students to alumni who have waited a long time to see construction of this building,” he said following a ground-breaking ceremony, moved indoors due to inclement weather.
“This will make student life better as there will be both academic and social aspects to the building.”
Goulard told local media the student centre will come equipped with meeting places, study nooks, social areas, a restaurant, bar and patio.
Nipissing president Mike Degagne said the project has been in the works for some time.
“The first question I was asked six years ago when I arrived at Nipissing was ‘How can you help us build a student centre?’” he recalled.
“This will be a tremendous gift to students moving forward.”
Plans for a student centre expansion date back more than 15 years.
Initially, it was a joint project involving both the Nipissing and Canadore College student unions, with annual fees collected from students at both institutions to help pay for construction.
Canadore and its students pulled out of the project several years ago, dropping the associated fee.
The student fee associated with the project, included as part of the tuition package, was initially $200 annually per student. But the amount was increased to $280 following a referendum in 2008.
Revenue generated by a planned restaurant and nightclub will go to NUSU.
A planned nightclub will be two stories, complete with a secondfloor mezzanine overlooking the dance floor.
When not in use as a nightclub, the space is expected to accommodate a variety of other large gatherings, such as conferences, presentations, movies and concerts.
An adjacent restaurant will include a movable wall system that can be opened to allow the nightclub and restaurant to function as one large space.
A full-service patio overlooking the student quad will offer food and drink outdoors.
Jade Nighbor, president of Nipissing University alumni advisory board, said the common reaction from former students upon hearing the news is “it’s about time” and “finally it’s happening.”