Key renovations underway at Mount Royal’s Conservatory
By Jed Mabazza, Staff Writer
Mount Royal University’s (MRU) Lincoln Park building is getting new spaces from old classrooms. MRU is repurposing the Mount Royal Conservatory site in the W-wing into new and usable learning spaces for students.
The spaces consist of old practice rooms and offices which will be converted into four large modern classrooms. The final design will have two standard 78-student classrooms, a flexible 56-student learning space and a 56-student active learning classroom, with study alcoves in the main corridor.
This project aims to accomplish the strategic objective outlined in the university’s 2016 Campus Master Plan to identify “Opportunities to develop new buildings and existing buildings in order to create functional and memorable spaces that meet the needs of MRU’s growing community.”
The new classroom spaces have been designed with a focus on facilitating an exemplary environment that helps advance students’ learning and sense of community.
According to Mount Royal’s Phil Warsaba, vice-provost and associate vice-president, “These new spaces will not only allow us to better accommodate students on MRU’s campus, but will also create new options for different types of learning environments.”
A capital funding worth $50 million from the provincial government and $15 million in private funding from the Don and Ruth Taylor family will be used to support the project from beginning to completion.
The W-wing development is the first part of two phases of renovation in MRU. The second phase will be the repurposing of the old library space on Main Street which will start in the late summer of 2022.
The Conservatory has been vacant since its relocation after the Taylor Centre for Performing Arts opened its doors in 2015. Demolition started in October 2021, and will be completed in December 2021. Construction will commence following the completion of the demolition. The construction and all furniture installations are expected to be completed by June 2022. Shortly after, students will be allowed to book the spaces in the summer.
Other recently renovated spaces include the third floor study space of the N-wing in the Lincoln building. Minor renovations occurred with the addition of 27 study cubicles on top of the five existing round tables in the room. New lighting and chairs have also been added to improve the existing space.