University downtown campus worth the wait

Zander Kelly
By Zander Kelly January 12, 2018 13:02

Vincent Georgie, director of the School of Creative Arts at the University of Windsor stands in the new Armouries building (photo by Zander Kelly)

By Zander Kelly

Several hundred students at the School of Creative Arts at the University of Windsor now have a home in the former Windsor Armouries building.

 

The large-scale construction project was first estimated to be completed in 2014, but was delayed due to difficulties with the reconstruction.

 

The Armouries have been deemed a historical building in Windsor since its construction in 1900-1902 and has been formally recognized as such since 1999. Certain challenges had to be overcome in order to preserve the natural appearance of the building while at the same time entirely re-making the interior. One challenge was entirely replacing the old foundation, which did not extend deep enough to accommodate the new basement.

The Armouries house students in the music, architecture, photography and filmmaking programs.

“It feels like we’re really about to take off,” said Vincent Georgie, director of the School of Creative Arts. “It’s an amazing learning space for students and that’s the key piece that’s really motivating and to see it become a reality. There’s been a lot of hard work put in by a lot of people to make this day come true.”

Georgie said that one way that the school is trying to attract students and get the public interested is to have the doors of the Armouries open to everyone.

“Anyone can come in and see what the students are up to and hear and see what they’re working on,” said Georgie. “It really brews creativity. In your sight line, in every space, you can view other spaces even on different physical levels of the building.”

Alexis Robertson is a second-year music student, specializing in saxophone. She said she is happy about the new building and thinks it is a real upgrade from the previous building on the main campus of the University.

“This has been worth the time waiting. It’s a great upgrade,” said Robertson, who thinks the addition of several hundred new students to the downtown is a positive move. “I think they’ll bring a bit of a change rather than having all the university in one place,” said Robertson.

The music program at the University has been delivered for the past several decades out of a renovated bowling alley.

The general feeling of everyone involved in the Armouries project is that the new campus is truly worth the wait.

Zander Kelly
By Zander Kelly January 12, 2018 13:02

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