The majority of renovations planned for McGill’s New Residence Hall (NRH) were completed over the summer, offering students a more comfortable and modern living environment, but one important part of the renovations was delayed.
“Since last year, we’ve undertaken a series of renovation projects, always with the goal to improve the student experience,” said Mathieu Laperle, Senior Director, Student Housing and Hospitality Services (SHHS).
The reception area and dining hall of McGill’s largest residence, for which 700 students call home during the school year, have both been revamped. NRH’s former hotel-style lobby is also being renovated. In the next few days, it will be transformed to a student-friendly space where residents can study, watch TV, play video games, and socialize. New internal bike racks will also been installed in the NRH lobby, in partnership with the McGill Office of Sustainability, to encourage sustainable transportation.
Other additions include an exterior patio, and an on-site fitness centre being built in partnership with McGill Athletics and Recreation. The gym is slated to open in the coming months.
The newly completed renovations are part of a three-year plan to renew NRH, which began in 2022. Future renovations will include bathrooms and other NRH common areas.
Compensation for delayed construction
Important structural work on the building’s main façade was supposed to be finished over the summer, when NRH was closed. Unforeseen circumstances have delayed the completion of Phase 1 of the project – the dismantling of the existing façade. This phase will continue through Fall 2023. Work on the NRH’s other façades will continue into 2024.
“Students are moving in this weekend and, as you can imagine, having a construction site at the main entrance isn’t optimal,” said Laperle. “But we are working closely with the contractor to ensure this phase of the project is completed as soon as possible.”
Laperle said the biggest challenge with the delay will be noise, with workers drilling holes in the façade to install insulation and anchors. As a way of compensating residents for the inconvenience caused by the façade renovation project, SHHS will charge all students last year’s rental fees for the entire academic year.
Back entrance available for move-in
As well, due to the scaffolding and building materials on the front side of the building the main entrance will have a reduced capacity to welcome all students for the move-in period, from Saturday, Aug. 19, to Friday, Aug. 25.
To aid with the flow of traffic, the back entrance on Prince-Arthur Street will also be available for students to access the main lobby and front desk where they can check into residence as per their move in reservation date and time.
“Unfortunately, the situation isn’t ideal, but it is work that must be done,” says Laperle. “Our residences help set the tone for a first-year student’s experience at McGill. We have to ensure our facilities meet the expectations of our students and their parents.”
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