The JDUC redevelopment plan will prioritize new space for student services over the AMS and SGPS offices, both of which are located in the building.
The AMS, Queen’s undergraduate student government, told The Journal they will focus on expanding public space in the building by shrinking the footprint of the AMS and the SGPS, Queen’s graduate student government.
“The JDUC is going to have more space for student life and less space for student government,” Chloe Draeger, special projects director, said in an interview with The Journal.
According to Draeger, the space will include a new wellness suite, housing an expanded peer support centre and overflow space for Student Wellness Services. It will also reallocate space for existing services, such as providing a new and improved space for the Printing & Copy Centre.
Pierce said the design would also include more public study space and “three times” as much club space as the current building, which will be accomplished in part by shrinking the student government offices.
“This building is for students, not just for student governments,” Pierce said. “In the original plans, the AMS and SGPS were central, but we decided to reduce that space and open it up way more for students.”
This reallocation of space will in part be accomplished by prioritizing versatility in design, keeping spaces flexible so they can be used for multiple purposes.
For example, the AMS boardroom, which is currently accessible only through the AMS office suite, will be separate in the new design, allowing for rental and usage for other purposes.
Pierce also said the new building would provide an opportunity for major improvements to the Queen’s Pub.
According to him, the new design will include a patio, as well as more versatile space which could function both as extra seating during the day and as a dancefloor at night. Furthermore, the design will include an expanded kitchen which Pierce says will allow the Pub to serve more diverse food options.
Draeger also announced that the JDUC redevelopment plan is targeting Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification, one of the most popular green building certification programs used worldwide.
LEED certification includes a set of rating systems for the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of buildings, aiming to promote environmentally-responsible and resource-efficient building practices.
Draeger said this initiative would not only make the building more environmentally sustainable, but also cheaper to maintain in the long term.
“It’s mutually advantageous for all of us who are invested in the project, as well as for students who obviously are very concerned about these issues,” Draeger said.
Pierce echoed Draeger’s statement, emphasizing that environmental sustainability in the new building was a major priority for the AMS. He added that the Society had advocated for environmental responsibility since the project’s inception.
“We’re excited for all the opportunities that are going to come from this,” Draeger said.
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