Second phase begins for Brock University’s new “front door”

Construction is underway at Brock University to create a new highly visible “front door” on campus.

Plaza2006, a five-storey, 86,000-square-foot building, will house a diversity of “addresses” – student meeting areas, an expanded campus store, academic space, and the Lifespan Development Research Centre (LDRC), a facility that is unique in Canada.

Phase 1 of the project, which included roadway realignment and site preparation, was completed recently. Construction marks the onset of Phase 2. Located immediately adjacent to the east side of the Alumni Student Centre, the $22.6 million complex is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2006.

Project design architect Brian MacKay-Lyons of MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects Ltd. in Halifax describes Plaza2006 as a systems facility of “frugal beauty.” Structural components, such as ductwork, are a visible element of the design, and its beauty lies in its simplicity. Integral to the project are the exterior materials: copper cladding, Niagara Escarpment stone, and the liberal use of glass. The interior of the building will feature wood, a warming element, in social gathering places, benches and the campus store.

“Plaza2006 combines visual refinement, quality, warmth and functionality,” said Steven Pillar, Vice-President, Finance and Administration. “In many ways, the project is representative of what Brock has to offer – a high-quality experience in conjunction with the warmth and intimacy offered by a mid-size university. We are pleased to present an elegant and friendly ‘front door’ that will welcome students, faculty and staff from around the globe. The architects have done an outstanding job.”MacKay-Lyons and project co-designer and business partner, Talbot Sweetapple, in association with Rounthwaite Dick and Hadley of Toronto, are internationally recognized architects specializing in institutional, urban and residential design.

The ground floor will contain a significantly expanded campus store and a direct link to the Alumni Student Centre. The second and third floors will house academic offices, computer labs, classrooms and seminar rooms, and also will link to the Alumni Student Centre on the second floor. The upper two floors will contain research facilities for the Lifespan Development Research Centre (LDRC), a complex unique in Canada.

LDRC is a collaborative effort between various academic departments, providing a centralized location of expertise to study how development occurs across the human lifespan. It will bring together more than 50 faculty and 40 community organizations to better understand issues ranging from infant development and teen gambling to detecting and treating dementia at its earliest stages.

“This is a facility which will carry Brock forward into the future,” said Dr. Valerie Jaeger, a member of Brock’s Board of Trustees and the Chair of the Capital Projects/Facilities Committee. “Plaza2006, which is meeting its construction schedule, will be a well-utilized complex because it successfully marries many uses. It provides much-needed space as the University continues to grow.”