U of Windsor delays one project and speeds up another

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Ron W. Ianni law building
Ron W. Ianni law building

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The University of Windsor Faculty of Law has delayed construction on the Transforming Windsor Law (TWL) building project by about six months due to COVID-19.

“We were to have packed up and moved to temporary quarters this summer, with a late summer start for construction,” Dean of Law Christopher Waters said in a statement. “Unfortunately, we have been unable to do the work necessary to make the temporary quarters suitable for our needs due to the suspension of construction sites on campus.

“However, while we are facing a delay in terms of our temporary relocation and the start of the transformative renovations of the Ron W. Ianni law building, the delay is manageable and relatively brief in the grand scheme of things.”

The work is expected to begin no later than January 2021 and Waters says he is optimistic about the project.

“I remain very excited about this project; indeed, it is encouraging to look forward to our new space despite current challenges,” he said, calling the delay “manageable and relatively brief in the grand scheme of things.”

The new plan will provide more time to pack and more space in the law library, “which may potentially be utilized in the implementation of physical distancing protocols,” he said.

Toronto-based urbanist and author Shawn Micallef recently said in the Faculty of Law’s 50th anniversary publication that “the Ianni building has nearly 50 years of heritage baked into it but also good bones that allow for change…. Designed with law as a social process in mind, this building can continue as an open and welcoming institution by being brought up to current (standards).”

Guiding principles for the design of the $25-million building include:

  • increasing usable building space to support dynamic teaching, research, experiential learning and service.
  • designing flexible and multi-purpose spaces that are forward-looking and open to change.
  • connecting the building to local Indigenous peoples, the physical environment, heritage and communities.
  • promoting environmental sustainability, health and well-being.
Rendering rec centre UW
Rendering of the new Lancer Sport and Recreation Centre building at the University of Windsor (CS&P Architects)

Work on the Lancer Sport and Recreation Centre has restarted May 4 after stopping in April due to the province’s restrictions on construction. Contractor EllisDon says the plan is to catch up for the lost time, and to complete the project as scheduled in fall 2021.

The $73 million space will include a fitness area triple the size of the current facility, a new eight-lane pool, refurbished soccer fields, cricket pitch, and perimeter running trail
an outdoor artificial turf field, three basketball/volleyball courts/gymnasium, with seating for more than 2,500, beach volleyball, basketball and ball hockey courts, refurbished field house, several multipurpose areas & student club rooms, social spaces and a food outlet and more opportunity for indoor racket sports.

Craig Goodman of CS&P Architects has said the design is a “big step forward” for the school, and it will put Windsor on an equal footing with some of the major Ontario universities for both competition and recreational facilities.

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