Downtown Sudbury will soon have a new addition to its skyline in the form of the Laurentian University School of Architecture building, located next to the tracks on Elm Street.
“When the job's done, I think it's going to be a very striking addition to the downtown core,” said Brad Parkes, Laurentian's executive director of facilities services.
Construction on the $24.5 million building is about 80 per cent complete, and will be ready for move-in in late spring or early summer. An official opening is planned for September, during the first week of classes.
Laurentian also spent $5 million renovating the historic former Market Square and CP Telegraph buildings on Elgin Street, which will both be connected to the new building.
The former Market Square building is now a shop for students, while the CP telegraph building is faculty office space. The new building features classrooms, design studios, a library and a 165-seat lecture hall.
The building is opening a year later than originally expected. The contractor, Bondfield Construction, blamed overly wet soil caused the construction delays.
The exterior of the building will feature metal panels tinted blue and gold — Laurentian's colours — while one wing will be made from wood.
“What we're trying to do is highlight the materials of the North,” Parkes said. “So it's predominantly wood that you would find in and around the Sudbury and North Bay area — spruce and pine.”
The Laurentian University School of Architecture opened in 2013, and had 185 students this past year. That number will rise to 250 this fall, and between 350 and 400 by 2018, when it'll have its full cohort.
“We're getting feedback from merchants now that the three cohorts of students have been a boon to business,” Parkes said.