Construction has officially begun on the new residence building, which is expected to house 104 students by September 2020.
It is the first geothermal heated and cooled residence at UNB, which is a much more renewable method of clean and safe energy. The 40,000 square foot building has yet to be named.
What does this mean for the UNB Campus?
Paul Mazerolle, president and vice-chancellor of UNB, said “We are thrilled to offer more students on our Saint John campus an opportunity to live in a new, environmentally designed residence. The design and development of this new residence responds to the current needs and values of our students and our university. It’s modern, private and environmentally responsible,”
UNB Saint John has two residences, Sir James Dunn and Dr. Colin B. MacKay. Both are currently at capacity and there is a waiting list for students across the globe. Luckily, this new addition to campus will allow UNB to welcome more residence students than ever before.
What does this mean for Saint John?
Growth in UNB students will have its benefits for the city as well. Don Darling, mayor of Saint John, was also present. He released the following statement:
“UNB Saint John is a critical component of our region’s growth agenda. The expansion of our beautiful campus means more services available to students and increases our ability to retain graduates. Saint John needs strong community partners like UNB Saint John to reach its full potential. Today’s groundbreaking serves as another big step forward for our region.”
What are students thinking?
Because the residence building will be primarily affecting students of the university, we have asked a few current students what their thoughts are. While the response has been overwhelmingly positive, one factor that has some students concerned is how student services, like the cafeteria and Tim Hortons, will handle the increasing number of students. Wait times are already long and it would be nice for the university to address how they are planning to accommodate extra students.
Patrick Hickey, president of the Students’ Representative Council, shared a statement on behalf of the student body saying “The SRC, and all students at UNB Saint John, are very excited to see this new development on campus, another sign of the growth of our campus.”
We at The Baron would also like to recognize that the land on which the new residence building will occupy is the traditional unceded and unsurrendered territory of the Wəlastəkwiyik (Maliseet) and Mi’kmaq Peoples.