New UNB Saint John residence to open in November

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The new residence building is due to open next month. Read on to find out the story behind it and the new features it will have. 

The new residence building is being named after Dr. Barry Beckett and Flora Beckett. (UNB Residence Houses/Website)

Origin of the residence’s name 

The new residence is named after Dr. Barry Beckett and Flora Beckett, two professors that joined UNB Saint John in 1966. 

According to the UNB Newsroom, Barry taught chemistry and Flora taught mathematics and directed the Math Help Centre. UNB President and Vice-Chancellor Paul Mazerolle spoke of their accomplishments. 

“By demonstrating a desire to see every student succeed, they helped UNB Saint John grow from a small commuter campus into a forward-thinking, international centre for research and education.” 

The Becketts are very pleased with the recognition. Barry stated that to be recognized with Flora was a great honour. Their daughter, Lesley Beckett Balcom, who is also UNB’s Dean of Libraries, said her parents “were active and enthusiastic supporters of international students on campus, so a residence that will foster the interaction between students from near and far is a lovely way for them to be recognized.” 

Progress and COVID-19 

Although the construction of the building started in October 2019, it was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The building that was supposed to be completed for September of this year will now instead open at the end of November. 

Sketch of the original proposed building. (UNB/Website)

Original plan 

The original plan for this building was to make the upper-year students a priority so that they could create a smaller community in the new residence. 

Heather Campbell, the Administrator Director from the Communications Office, says that “Many upper-year students have had their first-year experience and are looking for a somewhat quieter environment to live and learn.” 

The Sir James Dunn and Dr. Colin B. Mackay residences offer two quiet floors which are currently home to upper-year students. The new residence was made to expand that. 

Nonetheless, because of the pandemic, that plan has been revisited and now any student can live in the Beckett residence.  

New rooms 

The rooms of the Barry and Flora Beckett residence will all be single rooms. 11 of those rooms will have private bathrooms. 

The building will also have an emergency room for a student displaced on short notice. 

According to UNB’s website, there will be a new type of room that the other residences do not have; adjoining rooms. 

Campbell described the adjoining rooms as “two bedrooms (that) are connected by a large bathroom. Each bedroom will have a door to the hallway, but the washrooms will not”. 

The students in the adjoining rooms will only need to share the toilet and the shower. 

This new design was not planned to help with social distancing, but unexpectedly it will make it easier for the students.  

Eco-friendly features 

UNB’s new residence will also be the first one with geothermal technology, which will be used to heat and cool the residence. 

According to Campbell, to heat and cool the residence they had to drill 30 wells under the upper parking lot for the ground natural water. 

The geo-thermal technology will save more energy in comparison to the other residences. 

“Other energy-efficient designs have been (placed) in this facility, such as lights and low flow toilet fixtures”, says Campbell. 

Fees 

Even though the Beckett residence will not open until the end of November, details such as pricing are now available on the Residence fees website

“The rooms in the Beckett residence are priced comparatively to our other residence premium rooms in a brand-new building with air conditioning”, says Campbell. 

The Adjoining Single room costs $6,620 and the Dedicated Single (private room and bathroom) costs $6,798. 

These prices are similar to the other residences’ most expensive single rooms: the 2 Bedroom Premium Plus Suite ($6,717) and 2 Bedroom Premium Suite ($6,450) in the McKay residence, and the Super Single Plus ($6,717) in the Dunn residence. 

However, the Dedicated Single will become the most expensive room on campus, surpassing the current most expensive rooms by $84. 

The ‘Meal Plan V’ that students on residence are required to purchase will remain at $3,000 and the house dues will remain at $50. 

Tours available for interested students

Students interested in the new residence can arrange a tour by emailing Jamie Younker at Jamie.younker@unb.ca.