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Mount Royal works to improve student spaces inside and out

Student services also being centralized

Student reading in the library

The Mount Royal University Library is an integral part of the MRU experience.

Work is underway to revamp outdoor spaces on campus and to envision centralized student services in the old library on Main Street in the future.

The BookStore has moved into the old library temporarily while its permanent space is undergoing maintenance upgrades and renovations to make more room for Campus Card services. Parking services are also available in the temporary BookStore. It's expected the BookStore will return to its permanent location in the 2019 winter semester.

SAMRU president Andrew Nguyen says students appreciate "one-stop shopping."

"Although it is temporary, we can see the convenience that it provides students when they are able to obtain their campus card and figure out their parking and transportation options all in the same location," he says. "We're hoping that this becomes a long-term reality for students."

Outside, the Facilities Management department is restoring three areas to create additional quiet spaces for students to work and study. The spaces are close to one another and include the courtyard outside the BookStore, the fountain on the west side of E-Wing and the amphitheatre next to F-Wing.

The fountain, which had been drained and left empty for more than 10 years, was turned on again Sept. 11 after improvements and repairs to the concrete and fixtures, explains Grant Sommerfeld, Associate vice-president of Facilities Management.

"Our Building Operations team was very resourceful in bringing the fountain back to life," he says. "They reused old parts and a bit of 'sweat equity' to get it functional again."

Sommerfeld says the outdoor spaces designated for improvements "are very visible from inside, and we wanted to bring some life to them again. We were able to do this at very low cost with some creativity and elbow grease."

The fountain is accessible from E-Wing and F-Wing (Stevenson Plaza next to The Table), and flows into the large pond by the TransCanada Amphitheatre.

Fountain

E-Wing is to the left of the fountain, with Human Resources on the second floor and the International Student Centre on the main floor.

Outside seating in the courtyard near I-Wing was improved with the help of summer students, and included repairs to wooden furniture and concrete tables. The hope is to brighten the F-Wing outdoor amphitheatre with a mural next year.

These improvements are part of the Campus Master Plan, Sommerfeld explains.

"The plan calls for creating nice views of outdoor spaces," he says. "We're working towards that vision by revitalizing these outdoor spaces at the lowest possible cost."

Long-term plan to centralize student services

Long term, the plan for the old library space includes centralizing student services, such as Academic Advising Services, the Office of the Registrar and Career Services. Mount Royal is currently exploring funding options that would allow these improvements to be made at some future point, but nothing will happen in the near term.

If funding for the proposed internal renovations comes through, Mount Royal's old library would become the new location for students to congregate, gain access to information and services, and study.

In addition to study spaces there, several hundred more student study spaces would be added as a result of the planned renovations elsewhere:

  • A few hundred new student spaces in the area between the Jenkins Theatre and outdoor courtyard on the main floor
  • More than a hundred student study spaces on the second level where the Transitional Vocational Program offices are currently located
  • A few dozen study spaces on the third level in W-Wing

After the BookStore moves out, the old library space is intended to remain vacant to support efforts to attract funding.

 

Read Mount Royal's Campus Master Plan to learn about proposals for the evolution of campus for the next 20 to 30 years.

 

Sept. 21, 2018 ― Melissa Rolfe

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