Meadows is not that far away from Corner Brook, but Ian Locke did not want to be commuting from the north shore of the Bay of Islands to school all week long.
That’s why the second-year theatre arts student at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University decided to apply for one of the units available in the school’s new residence building, which opened last fall.
Now into his second semester living in the residence complex, Locke is sure he made the right call.
“For me, with the acting program, we are in class with rehearsal from 7 to 11 (p.m.) every night,” he said. “So, driving home after that, especially in winter, would just not suit my needs.
“It was a great decision. There is so much storage, all of my scripts are able to fit without looking disorganized or cluttered.”
Wednesday morning, the new residence was awash with visitors and special guests as it was officially opened.
For Locke, the roomy kitchen and lounge area where the press conference was held has been just as great a feature of the building as the spacious shelves that hold his scripts and books.
“I have never walked into the kitchen and not found a stove available,” he said. “... That’s great, especially when you are in a rush.”
Sierra Tischler of Hamilton, Ont., is also a second-year theatre student who calls the new residence home. She was asked to speak during the press conference on behalf of all the students living there.
The residence does not just accommodate students studying at Grenfell Campus. There are 23 rooms available for students going to the College of the North Atlantic and, when space is available, accommodations are offered to students taking courses at Academy Canada.
In fact, there are some students from Academy Canada living in the residence now.
“It allows them to communicate with peers who they may not have had a chance to experience,” Tischler said of the mixture from post-secondary disciplines.
The $23-million, 200-room complex features energy-efficient mechanical systems. It is the largest building in Newfoundland and Labrador to have an Insulate Concrete Forms system, which delivers a foundation or wall that is energy-efficient and has superior fire resistance and sound suppression.
Wednesday’s news conference was attended by Premier Tom Marshall, Advanced Education and Skills Minister Kevin O’Brien and Gary Kachanoski, president and vice-chancellor of Memorial University.
“This new residence is going to enhance the post-secondary experience for students and is going to provide more students with safe and comfortable accommodations,” the premier said.
Kachanoski said the building represents more than just an expansion of Grenfell Campus, but provides additional accommodations to help entice more students from outside the traditional catchment area to come study in Corner Brook. That, he noted, is a benefit to the entire regional economy.
The residence will not be the only new structure to officially open at Grenfell Campus this month. In the coming weeks, Grenfell will also open a new environmental boreal ecosystem research facility.
As part of the opening, there was an unveiling of a ceremonial plaque that will be installed in the lobby of the building.
Students have been calling it home since last fall, but the new residence building at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University in Corner Brook had its official opening Wednesday morning.
Premier Tom Marshall and Advanced Education and Skills Minister Kevin O’Brien, with the help of Grenfell Campus administration and student Sierra Tischler, unveiled a plaque that will be placed in the lobby of the $23-million, 200-room complex.
“This is a modern residence for students to call home while furthering their education,” Marshall said in a press release issued after the ceremony.
The residence is a state-of-the-art building that features energy-efficient mechanical systems. It is the largest building in Newfoundland and Labrador to have an Insulate Concrete Forms system, which delivers a foundation or wall that is energy-efficient and has superior fire resistance and sound suppression.
It has five floors with a lounge and kitchen on each floor, providing areas for students to gather for meals and to socialize. There are laundry and storage facilities with an area for recreational gear.
A partnership between Grenfell Campus and College of the North Atlantic allows 23 of those rooms to be available for College of the North Atlantic students.
“With the opening of the Grenfell’s new residence complex, students here have more options for safe living on campus,” Gary Kachanoski, president and vice-chancellor of Memorial University, said in the press release.