Written by Logan Paulgaard Campus Upgrades
Since the end of the spring semester, Trinity Western University has undergone a large number of changes—some major, some minor. The campus has just celebrated its first fifty years of existence, and most of the buildings on her premises were built in the first twenty-five years. As a result, according to Associate Provost Sheldon Loeppky, “the University is entering a decade that it really hasn’t had to deal with…where a large number of its facilities are up for systemic rehabilitation or renewal.”
Robert N. Thompson Building and Stanley Nelson Center
Over the summer, the major upgrade focus was placed on Phase One of the revitalization of the Robert N. Thompson building and Stanley Nelson Center. Phase One—of two—was comprised of most of the health and safety upgrades, connecting the second floors of both buildings together, and upgrading the existing elevator shaft to comply with current building codes. “We really focused on the building between the two sections which is really, from a health and safety perspective, the anchor for both buildings,” states Loeppky. These health and safety upgrades are primarily seismic upgrades to the structure, bringing the building up to current building code. As well as creating a stronger, safer structure, the RNT and SNC upgrades include the creation of new office space, a second story atrium, a student lounge, and an academic meeting area.
Due to unforeseen issues with the glazing, the completion of Phase One has been delayed slightly. For the interim, the upgraded section connecting RNT and SNC will function solely as a passage between the two buildings. According to Loeppky, Phase One is set to be completed by the end of September.
Phase Two is slated to begin summer either 2014 or 2015, at which time siding, windows, and roofing will be replaced. The outward appearance of RNT and SNC buildings will remain unfinished until the completion of Phase Two. The second phase will also include major changes to the interior of the building, such as the movement and adjustment of some rooms and hallways, and a gutting of many of the spaces.
The Jordan Thiessen Memorial Courtyard
The second major campus upgrade to take place over the summer was the building of the new Jordan Thiessen Memorial Courtyard in what was the neglected Douglas Center Courtyard.
As many know, Jordan Thiessen was a Trinity Western University graduate whose life inspired many, and whose work during his time at TWU greatly enriched the campus and the community. In October of last year, Jordan was killed in a devastating industrial accident. Shortly after, an initiative was launched, spearheaded by his mother and TWU staff member Shirley Thiessen, to commemorate this remarkable student. Donations have since been collected to fund the project, which began about a month ago. The new courtyard will include a fire bowl, water feature, shade garden, and an area with tables and chairs. The courtyard has been designed to accommodate small groups, and perhaps even speakers.
According to Loeppky, the majority of the work will be completed by the dedication on the fourteenth of this month. The project has been slightly delayed, due to the nature of its funding coming from donations, but is expected it to be completed by the end of the month. Students will be free to use the courtyard after the dedication on the 14th, but we can expect to see some workers around for a little while yet.
Alongside the two major summer projects, the campus has undergone its annual summer facelift. Each year, 200,000-300,000 dollars of the University’s budget is put into the revitalization of the school. This includes painting, re-carpeting, upgrading plumbing fixtures—such as faucets and toilets—and general maintenance in parts of almost every building.
Douglas Center has also seen the completion of the first of three phases, with the complete renovation of the first floor men’s dorms (six and seven low), and the restructuring of the mail center—including the removal of many mailboxes. The upper floors—six and seven middle and upper—will be completely renovated in the next two phases of the Douglas Center revitalization. The university hopes to use this space in the future for accommodations for conferences during the summer months.
In light of last year’s laptop thefts, and a history of stolen items, the Trinity Western University Administration has assed what Assistant Provost Sheldon Loeppky calls “hot spots,” that is, areas of high risk for theft. The next step in making our campus more secure is a multi-phase project that will see the upgrading and adding of security cameras and the expansion of the existing swipe card system. No timeline is in place yet, but according to Loeppke, we can expect to see these upgrades to focus first on high priority areas such as residences, places with a large amount of I.T. equipment, science facilities, and finance. The goal is to eventually phase out keys and replace all locks with the far more secure and easily controlled swipe card system.