University to break ground on new residence in May 2020

Administration responds to residents’ concerns about noise, light pollution

University to begin construction May 2020.
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University to begin construction May 2020.
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A new residence building planned for the west side of Albert St., just south of Union and across from Tindall Field, will be around five storeys tall and contain between 315 and 335 beds.
 
At an information session on Wednesday about the new residence building, project managers said Albert St. is the preferred location for the new residence building, based on both a 2014 campus master plan and physical availability. The University also announced plans to begin construction of the new residence building in May 2020. 
 
According to Leah Wales, executive director of Queen’s Housing and Services, the reason behind the new residence building is to meet “modest” enrollment growth projections and to address deferred maintenance issues in other parts of the system. 
 
“We’re strongly committed to the first-year residence guaranteed, so as we see enrollment growth over time, we want to make sure we can continue to meet that guarantee,” Wales said at the information session. 
 
“One of the strategies we’ve had to do more recently without a new building is to reduce the number of spaces available for upper years who may want to continue to live in residence.” 
 
The University also plans to make the new residence completely sustainable by targeting LEED’s gold standard certification, a guideline it’s also using for the JDUC renovation and the pending expansion of Duncan McArthur Hall. 
 
According to Corola Bloedorn, Queen’s director of design and construction, the University is working with consultants to make sure the new residence’s design standards meet green criteria like avoiding construction in floodplains, reinstating the natural environment, and managing rainwater. 
 
“We’re targeting gold, which is the second-highest level,” she said on Wednesday.
 
Bloedorn added the new residence aims to reduce on-site water and greenhouse gas emissions by metering how much energy is being consumed. 
 
“It’s about every single detail of the building and trying to push the envelope in terms of sustainability.” 
 
At the public information session, multiple Kingston residents raised concerns about potential noise and light pollution the new residence could bring to Albert St. 
 
Mark Erdman, manager of community relations and issues at Queen’s, said the residents were also engaged in consultations two months prior to the project’s commencement.
 
“We’ve been working really closely with them to understand what their concerns are and to communicate to them about what we’re doing,” he told The Journal.
 
According to Erdman, the building won’t have any food service, so there won’t be any deliveries disrupting the area. He also said the University is ensuring the building will not produce any light pollution. 
 
“We’re trying to design things around those that we can accommodate and will have as little impact on the surrounding community as we can,” Erdman said.
 
He added that before choosing the current location for the new residence, the University did a landmass study and looked at factors ideal for students, such as food locations, classes, and transit.

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