Monday saw the beginning of Brock’s new multi-million-dollar Residence 8 building. The self-funded project comes at a time where Brock is seeing a substantial increase in the number of students offered enrolment at the university.
The Residence 8 project was undertaken as a result of the request for more on-campus housing from Brock students and community members. The new $40 million, six-storey residence is set to add another approximately 300 beds to Brock’s residence program which will allow the university to accommodate almost 3,000 students across all residences upon its competition. Additionally, the building will also include a new dining hall, a 24/7 service desk for students and a hub for Brock Conference and Events Services.
As of fall 2019, Brock’s total student population grew by 873 students to 19,867 students going into. The university is also forecasting growth of 13 per cent by September 2024.
“This project is important because demand for residence exceeds our capacity,” said Jamie Fleming, director of residences at Brock. “We have a long waiting list, so we could have filled this residence this year if it was open.”
Residence 8 will be built beside the existing Alan Earp Residence on a portion of Parking Lot M. In order to accommodate the building and to increase Brock’s parking capacity, a new parking lot will be built on the east side of Ray Woodfield Drive which runs parallel to Glenridge Avenue. According to the department of residences, the new building is expected to be completed by the summer of 2021 and will be fully occupied by the beginning of the fall semester that year
“We have a responsibility to help more students have that experience, but Brock also has a duty to our host communities,” said Gervan Fearon, Brock’s president. “[The university] needs to be part of the solution. We need to help accommodate the people we are attracting, and that’s what we are doing today. Residence 8 is a positive move for Brock and for our host communities.”
Concurrently, Brock is developing a plan where third-party companies are able to partner with the university to construct residence buildings near the main campus or in downtown St. Catharines near Brock’s Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts. The university is currently looking to potential private sector partners to aid in developing solutions for meeting student residence needs, including student experience.
“With the constant need for new teaching and research facilities, or just maintaining existing assets, universities are challenged to free up funding to start major construction projects for residences,” said Fearon. “By partnering with the private sector, we can accelerate the process of meeting student needs and achieving the financial stewardship demanded of universities today.”
Students interested in finding out more information about Brock’s new Residence 8 project or Brock’s current residences are encouraged to visit brocku.ca/residence or reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.