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Cambrian college plans out its construction future.

Big ideas for new buildings are in Cambrian College's future, as school officials have unveiled the new master plan that will help dictate physical development and construction plans for the coming decades.

"The majority of Ontario's population is going to require skills upgrading or post-secondary education in order to remain competitive in the next few years," says Sylvia Barnard, president of Cambrian College.

"We felt we really needed a plan that would address not only our traditional students but also those who are looking to return for some courses, for upgrading, or a whole new career, and that requires a lot of flexibility."


Receiving its first renewal since 1980, the" new master plan guides the physical development of Cambrian's Barrydowne campus, examining how to. integrate new infrastructure in the future while also accommodating infrastructure that's already in place.

It will be used as a reference document "as a clear, concise direction to decision-makers" not only by the college itself but by the City of Greater Sudbury, the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities as well as various funding agencies.

"We're doing our best to look through the crystal ball 10, 20 years down the road," says Jeff Laberge, project manager for the master plan, as well as architect and associate owner of J.L. Richards & Associates Ltd. "However, we recommend the plan be updated every five years.

As everybody knows, things change, sometimes rapidly, so what is important for the campus today could change slightly in five years and maybe drastically, so it's important to keep the document alive and relevant."

The process took most of the last year and incorporated input from staff, faculty, students, the city and the public, and also considered other matters such as signage and entrances.

While as many as 14 options were considered, ranging from an academic courtyard to amphitheatres to hilltop developments, the designers settled on a twinned approach where all development will take place on the southern half of the property.

The northern half will be the focus of development in the "distant future," and may host additional construction projects following the completion of the existing phases. In the meantime, it may act as space for additional parking.

Development is further broken down into a series of six phases, each with a significant physical construction component that will be considered in the coming years and decades.

One phase involves using an outdoor area on the western part of the campus which currently houses portables as the site of a new art and design studio, with room for expansion if needed in the next 10 to 15 years.

Two other phases include the development of an addition of a new fitness centre, and the construction of a new health-sciences building. While they can be built at separate times, Laberge encourages the two be integrated so as to reduce costs and share services and departmental resources.

While there is an existing fitness centre at Cambrian, it's typically fully booked, with both the workout room and gym under heavy use at any given time. As such, a new facility would improve the quality of life on campus, says Laberge.

With as many as six floors, a health-sciences building has been identified as a priority by school officials. Aside from its educational space, it would also provide room for medical and dental clinics for the public, and provide applied research opportunities for students and staff.


Northern Ontario Business
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Title Annotation:CONSTRUCTION
Author:Stewart, Nick
Publication:Northern Ontario Business
Date:May 1, 2010
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