University of Calgary

MacKimmie Tower construction update

UToday HomeJune 17, 2013

Construction on the library tower begins in 1970; the building was named in 1984 for R.A. MacKimmie, donor and chair of the University of Calgary’s Board of Governors from 1975-1984.Construction on the library tower begins in 1970; the building was named in 1984 for R.A. MacKimmie, donor and chair of the University of Calgary’s Board of Governors from 1975-1984. Photo courtesy University Archives
Aerial views of the main University of Calgary campus, taken in 1976 (above) and in 2012 (below).Aerial views of the main University of Calgary campus, taken in 1976 (above) and in 2012 (below).
Aerial views of the main University of Calgary campus, taken in 1976 (above) and in 2012 (below).
Renovations and relocations in the MacKimmie Tower will continue into the fall term.

Originally intended to house books, many changes were needed to bring the MacKimmie Tower up to the standards needed to house busy administrative offices for the university (Stacks of change). The 13-storey tower was built in 1972 and building codes have significantly changed since that time.

“We’re diligent about meeting or exceeding all standards for health and safety, including for current occupants of the MacKimmie,” says Bob Ellard, vice-president (facilities development and management).

Not only is there enormous work involved to transform an old library into a new administrative hub, the requirements specific to occupancy of high-rise buildings have changed over the past 40 years. The changes needed to bring the upper floors of the MacKimmie Tower into the 21st century are substantial.

“We are able to redevelop the lower floors of the tower into modern and flexible offices for administration and services,” says Ellard. “But, above the sixth floor, we cannot fund the changes needed for this type of occupancy.”

The main floor through to the sixth floor of the MacKimmie Tower have been renovated, or are nearly ready, for their permanent occupants. The remaining few occupants of floors 7 to 13 in the tower will be relocated by the end of the year. These upper floors will then close and remain unoccupied until some time in the future.

There is a phased plan to redevelop the entire building, including the upper floors, but it is dependent on future funding.

 

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