The Story Behind A-Wing Courtyard Construction

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Anyone who has walked through the A-Wing on Trafalgar Campus recently has noticed that the interior courtyard is under construction. This project was brought to life by the Faculty’s Space Enhancement Taskforce. The project is a joint effort between Claire Ironside (Illustration faculty), Susan Hutton (Finance & Admin), Doug Donald (FAAD) and Chad Mansell (Facilities).  It serves as a great example of the Faculty and the Facilities office working together to enrich our campus space.

The courtyard has been an overgrown, unused space for some time, and its redesign is meant to turn it  into “a multi-use teaching and learning space” with creative brick surface surrounded by a native plant garden and installation art by students and faculty.

“On one hand, it renews an under used open space asset, turning it once again into a setting to be enjoyed by staff and students alike,” said Claire, “and on the other, it provides an opportunity to use the space as a teaching and learning resource, given its central location in the Faculty of Animation Art and Design’s primary building.” The redesign using native plants is meant to “attract local birds, insects and the students who love to draw and photograph them,” she added.

Faculty brought all the design ideas to the table, and then Facilities led the implementation, hiring the contractor to demolish the concrete and remove  hazardous materials, create a drainage system, and lay new stonework. Facilities project manager Barbara Smith outlined the general phases of the project:

Currently, stone is being laid with work projected to be completed in about a week, which means that the cardboard currently lining our floors will soon be gone, and activity in the A wing will return to normal.  Following this, the project will be back in the Faculty’s hands to coordinate furnishings, plantings and installations.

This is where we will face some budget hurdles, and we may need to look to external partners and funding agencies to help complete this project.

“It is like a piece of performance art; everyone is so interested,” Claire said when she passed as I was photographing the construction.

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