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One of the smaller infrastructure refresh initiatives planned for this year, at least in terms of the work required, is also one of the most meaningful.

“The Pearson College UWC Memorial Cairn Project was initiated in 2017 to properly house memorial plaques dedicated to the memory of individuals and/or their families who played key roles or made significant contributions to the founding and development of the College,” says Ty Pile, Vice President Operations and Administration.

“Families of the individuals have been waiting patiently to have the plaques mounted and displayed because they are not only an important recognition of their service and support but also because these represent a part of the College’s history, especially as we approach our 50th anniversary.”

Pile said construction of the new Memorial Cairn and mounting of the plaques is planned for March at a tranquil location on the Community Lawn overlooking Pedder Bay.

Every year, the College plans and undertakes a program of facilities and infrastructure renovations and upgrades to enhance the learning and living environment on campus. All work is carried out within sustainability principles and with respect for our natural, forested campus. Pile noted that some projects are not yet fully funded and, in some cases, contract negotiations with builders and suppliers are not yet finalized.

“Often, especially in a time when the pandemic protocol measures have increased costs, it’s the generosity of individual and business donors who help make these projects a reality – and we thank each and every supporter,” added Pile.

Elsewhere in this edition of Pearson eNews, we included a story about planned upgrades, pending funding, to complete the top-to-bottom renovation of Victoria House. This May to August project will include a new heating and ventilation system, upgrades to electrical, flooring, insulation, fire suppression, seismic safety, plumbing systems and flooring, tiling, drywall, fixtures and furniture improvements to dorm rooms, washrooms and the day room.

Completion of that work will mean all five student residence houses have been fully renovated over the last few years.

Initiated in 2015, the campus roof replacement project is nearing completion with the Max Bell, Ondaatje and Maintenance buildings scheduled for re-roofing this spring and summer. Complementary upgrades to some Max Bell building windows and a more ambitious renovation of the Ondaatje building with upgrades to windows, flooring washrooms and classrooms are also planned. Altogether, about 20 campus buildings have received new, long-life roofs over the past six years.

Pile is among many on campus excited about an innovative process to consider a much-needed modernization of the Ann and Tony Macoun Theatre and BMO Social Innovation Space, or the Little Lecture Theatre, as it was formerly known. Funding and commitments of future support are allowing the College to proceed with a   deliberate process, including a survey and a late-January virtual design charrette co-led by Pearsonites and local firm Cascadia Architects, to consider how we can create a multi-purpose space for social innovation, learning and College/community benefits.

From the charrette process and other inputs, a concept will be selected to form the basis for project planning requirements and potential timelines. Watch for more in future editions of eNews.

Landscaping on campus has always respected both our location and long-term sustainability. Pending funding, student residences will see safety improvements to entrances, walkways and upgraded landscaping with new native and drought-resistant trees and plants this summer.

Related to this is a plan to upgrade the land and pathways in front of Calgary House to create gathering places for the community and visitors to the community – a village centre concept designed by renowned landscape architect Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, who was also the landscape designer/architect for the Pearson campus. This forecourt is adjacent to the Ann and Tony Macoun Theatre and redevelopment will complement planning for that facility.

And, in a nod to our younger residents, the planned Pearson College Playground project will incorporate a primary, natural playground structure for children as well as gathering places for students, residents, staff and faculty. This project will also be integrated with residence house landscaping and, pending funding and contractor availability, is also planned for spring/summer construction.

Last but not least, planning is also underway to upgrade the main Pearson docks to better accommodate College vessels, boats and equipment for seafront activities and to support Race Rocks. Completion is planned for later this spring.