If you've been wanting to check out the new McEwen School of Architecture building on Elm Street, you'll get your chance Thursday evening through the wee hours of Friday morning.
The building is being opened from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. for a Nuit Blanche event featuring art installations by the 250 architecture students. There'll also be live entertainment and refreshments available.
Earlier in the day, starting at 2 p.m., the $30-million building is being officially opened in an invitation-only event.
Politicians — including Deborah Matthews, the province's Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development — and Laurentian University officials will give speeches.
Rob and Cheryl McEwen, who donated $10 million to the architecture school last summer — the school's now named for their family — will be presented with a birchbark canoe made by students.
Starting at 4:30 p.m., the public is invited to the architecture school for a free lecture by Canadian author and columnist Roy McGregor entitled “Canoe Country: The Making of Canada.”
Terrance Galvin, the architecture school's founding director, said he's excited that construction is finally complete.
The entire project, including the renovations of two historic downtown buildings, the construction of the new building and its contents, cost $42.6 million in total and about five years to complete.
Students were able to occupy the new building starting this past September, but Galvin said he decided to hold off on the grand opening until all of the finishing touches were done.
The McEwen School of Architecture's first bachelor of architectural studies graduating class will cross the stage this spring. The school will then welcome its first master's students this fall.
“I'm very happy with where we are,” Galvin said.