Despite the setbacks facing TRU due to COVID-19, Summer 2020 proved to be productive for the department of Campus Infrastructure and Sustainability. The department, in charge of facilities, upgrades, and road work (among all other facilities projects), completed a heavy to-do list over the season.
Manager of Facilities, Dillon Alexandre, was proud of the work his team completed over the five months students have been away from the grounds. The biggest project is the completion of the new Nursing and Population Health (NPH) building. The state of the art facility was completed in time for the fall 2020 semester, where nursing students will be using the building for their studies.
“The Nursing building is really state of the art. There are labs to simulate hospital rooms and all sorts of scenarios nurses might encounter,” expressed Alexandre.
Some other notable projects were the completion of the Brown Family House of Learning (HOL) transitioning into TRU’s main library, the transformation of College Drive into a pedestrian zone, and what Alexandre and his team dubbed the “summer move plan”.
The section of College Drive located between Science and Nursing and Population Health has been out of commission to cars for a number of years now due to the ongoing construction, but the facilities team saw the space as an opportunity for a student-friendly outdoor area. By laying stonework, providing benches and even a fountain, the formerly decommissioned road has become an oasis for students to enjoy.
HOL has been in the process of becoming TRU’s main library for a number of years, and the move has now been fully completed. HOL will now host all of the library’s services, as well as the entire catalogue of books available for check out.
Due to COVID-19, the library will schedule book pickup and drop-offs on the first floor, as well as opening the Irving K. Barber Centre as a study space. Despite the building’s closure during the fall semester, it is expected to be open with minor renovations completed by January 2021.
The old library building will be converted into an administrative and student study space building, with divisions such as Open Learning moving into new office spaces. The building is also expected to open for the winter semester, pending COVID-19 regulations.
Among other minor moves, Alexandre was confident in the work done by Facilities this summer.
“We were really productive this summer, not just in terms of completing what we had intended to but also moving onto projects that would not have been possible without COVID-19. Obviously the Nursing building was high on the priority list, but the extra time without most of the students and faculty allowed us to move down our list,” Alexandre stated.