University of Waterloo to enhance facilities for student recreation and wellness

Waterloo - The University of Waterloo is set to enhance social, study, dining and recreation space at the heart of campus with a massive 63,000-square foot expansion of its Student Life Centre (SLC) and the Physical Activities Complex (PAC).

The project will see the University add a climbing wall overlooking campus, and triple the size of its fitness centre expanding over two floors the project will also enhance the food service options available and triple the amount of space for dining.

“Waterloo is making major investments in the student experience on campus to ensure that the support and services we offer to those who study here matches the world-class education they receive,” said Feridun Hamdullahpur, President and Vice-Chancellor at Waterloo. “This expansion will create a vibrant space at the heart of our campus where students com come together as a community and also access a growing range of recreation activities and crucial services.”

Undergraduate and graduate students at the University recently voted to support the enhancements to the buildings in a referendum vote.

The $34 million project is a partnership between the Federation of Students (Feds), the Graduate Student Association (GSA) and the University of Waterloo. The University will contribute $10 million of the capital costs and students will pay a $18 per term fee to provide the remaining $24 million for the complex to be built.

“This exciting project means students will enjoy significant improvements to the services available to them on campus,” said Chris Lolas, President of the Federation of Students. “Undergraduates voted to support this initiative and I will be working alongside the University to make sure we continue to make improvements that make their experience at Waterloo world-class.”

The new space will connect to the current SLC on all three floors and connect with the Red North corner of the PAC. It will also include a link connecting the SLC to the third floor of the MC building and a covered walkway to the AHS buildings.

“I think this sends a really strong message, that the student community on campus is willing to fund major improvements to the SLC and the PAC,” said Maya D’Alessio, President of the Graduate Student Association. “It is a recognition of the importance of student social and athletics space on campus to the student experience, and a gift from current students to future students.”

Other highlights of the expansion include:

• Additional 3000 square feet of recreational studio space
• Linking the SLC to the Math and Computer Building (MC), which will now make the SLC part of a larger tunnel/bridge network
• Adding multiple lounge spaces to meet different needs
• A large bookable event space of 150 seats for student activities such as the Velocity Fund Finals.
• Enhanced multi faith space, usable by all that recognize faith as an important facet of student life
• Numerous multi-purpose rooms in a variety of sizes bookable by any student, group or club

The projects join a range of initiatives underway campus that are aimed at improving the student experience. The projects include a bright new atrium for the Faculty of Arts’ Hagey Hall, a new Applied Health Sciences building, a new Science complex, the Engineer of the Future building and major expansions to the Velocity program that make it the largest free incubator in North America.

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