New Queen’s residence will welcome new students as they deserve

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Despite the concerns of some locals, Queen’s new residence project stands to benefit both students and the greater Kingston community.
 
It’s undeniable that Queen’s plays a large role in the City’s community. For some of Kingston’s permanent residents, this is a point of pride. Others see the university’s growth as infringing on their city.
 
Queen’s residence project, set to begin construction in May of 2020, will see a five-story residence building constructed on the west side of Albert St. across from Tindall Field. 
 
Some nearby Kingston residents expressed their concerns with the project at a public information session. Those locals have raised concerns about the height of the building relative to the nearby neighbourhoods, the demolition of historical houses to make way for the residence, the increased traffic in the area, environmental implications, and the potential for disruption from unruly student behaviour as points of contention.
 
But Queen’s has been working diligently to ensure the new building fits as seamlessly into the community as possible. The residence will strive for LEED Gold certification in sustainability, and the University plans to incorporate several of the old houses on the plot into its design. The University has been transparent through the process of developing the project, and held consultations with local residents two months before the project began.
 
The new residence building will account for an increase in first-year enrollment—which can only be a good thing. Not only does this mean more space for students looking to pursue a university education, but it also stands to improve the Kingston community.
 
Every year, Kingston’s student population plays an important role in the City’s economy. From September to April, local businesses from bars to grocery stores see an influx in student customers. With an increase in enrolment, there comes an increase in the number of students spending in downtown Kingston within walking distance of campus. 
 
The project will also address some existing tensions within the Kingston community. Housing availability is a prevalent concern in the University District, but currently, Queen’s has very limited upper-year and Graduate designated residence spaces. The new building is expected to free up more room in residence for upper-year students, potentially relieving some of the demand for student rentals in the surrounding University District.
 
With all new buildings comes change. Kingston locals are bound to be concerned about the new residence project—it will inevitably bring challenges. 
 
However, if the University follows through on its promises as diligently as it states, the project’s impact of the project can only be positive for students and locals alike. 
 
 
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