When Humber students and staff who have been learning and working remotely return to campus, they'll notice a few updates. Some, they’ll be able to see, while others are laying the foundation for major upcoming projects. Here are some highlights:
North Campus' Open Lab
One of the highlights is a new open access computer lab and lounge on North Campus. H205 is a collaboration between IGNITE, ITS and the Department of Capital Development and Facilities Management.
"This lab was already ten years old, and it was definitely showing signs of wear and tear, so it needed an upgrade. The question was, how do we best represent the Humber community? What represents Humber?" said Rebecca Muyal, interior designer and manager of Renovations and Capital Works.
The new Open Lab brings the outside in with large windows, flooring designed to look like grass and gravel pathways and a living wall – a section of the lab that is void of technology.
The design team took cues from the North campus' exterior environment, like the Arboretum grounds and trails through the Humber river valley, and incorporated live plants.
IGNITE and ITS wanted the space to be unique and break the barriers of the traditional institutional look.
"It's somewhere students can just chill," said Muyal.
The reduced number of people on Campus' over the past months was crucial to finishing the project in time for fall.
"We had several challenges from the start, but because of COVID, we had an opportunity to do it in one shot rather than breaking it up."
Since Humber's North Campus buildings were largely built in the sixties and seventies, many renovations are complicated by the need to refurbish older infrastructure.
The project includes various spaces with accessible workstations and alternate seating, and the pathways through the room are extra wide to allow room for mobility aids.
Transit and Traffic updates
The 11 km-long LRT runs along Finch Avenue West between Keele Street and Highway 27 and then south along Highway 27 to Humber College Blvd.
The project is in the initial construction phase of the actual stop at Humber College Blvd. and Highway 27.
"They're working on services like sewer lines, repositioning and replacing electrical feeds, phone and cable lines," said Capital Development and Facilities Management Associate Vice-President Angelo Presta.
"The big challenge over the next few months will be the work under Humber College Blvd. It will be blocking some of the East West travel with planned shutdowns on weekends. There will be lane restriction throughout the fall and into November," he said.
Advantages of the project include a new access road off Highway 27 for Humber and a green alternative for the community through the new public transit line.
"The whole process will hopefully reduce the amount of car traffic. We're seeing this as a means of providing a new transportation route to create a more sustainable campus," said Presta.
The department will be issuing frequent updates to students, staff and the community.
Birmingham Parking Lot
The new permit-only parking lot required for the Humber Cultural Hub project at the Lakeshore Campus will have a 344-vehicle capacity and feature a shuttle bus to transport users to and from campus. The parking lot is built to the latest City of Toronto Green Standards and features most of the parking spots built on permeable surface. The lot is expected to go into operation for the fall semester.
International Graduate School
Humber's new International Graduate School (IGS) building was completed in January 2021. The IGS provides a professional learning environment connecting students with business and industry in the downtown core with a focus on business and technology. It is scheduled to open for in-person learning in September.
Humber Cultural Hub
The Humber Cultural Hub will provide world-class, technology-rich teaching and performance spaces, including a 500 seat Multi-disciplinary Performance Hall, 140-seat Recital Hall, professional-quality music, film, TV, multimedia equipment, and training facilities. The project is entering the first phase of construction, with planned completion in April 2023. The second phase, which includes demolition of the existing Building A, will commence shortly thereafter with completion targeted for June 2025. As part of Humber's sustainability strategic goals, new buildings on campus, like the Humber Cultural Hub and the Barrett Centre for Technology Innovation, target LEED Platinum and are "global best practice" in energy efficiency.