University of Calgary

Working on the historic heart of campus

UToday HomeDecember 17, 2012

The University of Calgary Administration Building in the summer of 2012. Photo by Riley BrandtThe University of Calgary Administration Building in the summer of 2012. Photo by Riley BrandtScience A and the Administration Building were the first buildings on campus and have historic and architectural significance. The Administration Building has had no significant base-building upgrades since construction in 1960. Renovations are now beginning and infrastructure upgrades are being planned for the future.

“These renovations were identified as a step towards the modernization of the building, and as a priority program that matches both renewal and programmatic needs that support our Eyes High, academic and research strategic directions and priorities,” says Dru Marshall, provost and vice-president (academic).

“The renovations dovetail with a major multi-year program of renewal that is part of a Campus Master Plan and anticipates using future Infrastructure Maintenance Program funding,” says Marshall.

“Upgrading the Administration Building was a chance for the university to look at how this building can better support an environment that helps our students, faculty, staff and community members, while respecting the history of our campus,” says Bob Ellard, vice-president (facilities management and development).

At their December meeting, the University of Calgary’s Board of Governors approved the investment of $8.8 million to renovate the building, which includes $4.2 million previously approved by the board.

After renovations, the office for the Department of Psychology will have a higher profile location on the main floor. As well, the Psychology Undergraduate Students' Association will have enhanced space near the department office.

To accommodate the renovations, Human Resources and the executive offices will move to the MacKimmie Tower on Dec. 21. Human Resources will be relocated to the sixth floor of the tower, and the executive offices will move temporarily to the third floor.

Overall, the Administration Building will become the administrative heart of the university, housing the chair’s, chancellor’s and president’s teams. The executive leadership team, their respective senior staff and their support staff are currently in multiple locations across campus. The current arrangement is confusing to both the internal and external communities, and does not foster the best use of the collective skills of this senior team in supporting the academy.

“The literature has shown for many years that highly functioning teams do better when they are co-located,” says Marshall. After the renovations, the executive team will be located together on two floors, in what is now the executive offices (first floor) and HR (second floor). The Board of Governors will also have improved space, including a professional meeting room.

In addition to these renovations, a program of infrastructure renewal is being undertaken over the next several years to upgrade the base-building systems. Much of the required work is replacing expired equipment and making safety improvements to serve the building far into the future. Included in the infrastructure renewal program are improvements to heating, vent, installation of sprinklers throughout, new fire alarms, an elevator upgrade, washroom renovations, window replacement and partial new roofing. Infrastructure improvements will be funded through the Infrastructure Maintenance Program.