The Class of 2019 was welcomed to Queen’s with the opening of two new residence buildings this year — with a capacity to house 550 students in each.
The new buildings open as enrolment targets are planned to increase by roughly 2,000 more students over the next two years.
Last year, the University exceeded enrolment targets by 226 students, and many common rooms in residence buildings were converted to bedrooms to guarantee students spots in residence.
With the increased number of rooms available this year, most rooms will become common spaces once again, according to Bruce Griffiths, the executive director of Housing and Ancillary Services.
“With the opening of the new residences, a significant number of common rooms have now been restored,” he said over email.
Both buildings will provide accommodation for 550 students.
David C. Smith House and Brant House have been named after former principal David Chadwick Smith, and Drs. Marlene Brant Castellano and Clare Clifton Brant, two Queen’s alumni.
Smith House will be home to upper-year students that applied to live in residence. According to Griffiths, Housing and Ancillary Services was able to accommodate all applicants.
The remainder of the rooms in Smith House will be occupied by first year students, while Brant House will be home to incoming first year students only.
The layout of the two buildings is identical to Watts Hall and Leggett Hall.
“We felt it would be a good fit for these students based on previous consultations,” Griffiths said.
To accommodate the influx of students, a new food outlet was built in Smith House.
The new outlet, named Location 21, offers food similar to Victoria Hall’s Lazy Scholar with the addition of a salad station and Queen’s first Coca-Cola Freestyle Machine.
Both buildings offer only Single Plus Rooms with an upgraded price of $13,105 — which includes a meal plan — which are pricier than older Single Rooms at $12,826.
Each room is outfitted with a flat screen television, basic cable and a mini-fridge.
“Students and staff were both involved in the design, and a focus group was held with residents of Leggett and Watts to determine the best layout and amenities for the new buildings,” Griffiths said.
“This layout is attractive to first-years, upper-years and graduate students.”
The buildings have been designed to ensure that they’re accessible to every student. Hallways, common rooms and bedrooms were designed to accommodate wheelchairs as well as gender-neutral washrooms in common areas and shared rooms.
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