University of Ottawa files plans for new six-storey academic complex

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The University of Ottawa has filed development plans for its next large-scale construction project, a new science, technology, engineering and math building planned for the southwest corner of campus where demolition work has already started.

The new building proposed for 150-160 Louis Pasteur Priv., directly east of the Transitway and Nicholas Street, will feature a three-floor podium and two separate towers that each rise an additional three storeys, according to a planning report prepared by Fotenn Consultants and filed with the City of Ottawa.

Other development documents prepared by various consultants say the structure will have two or three basement levels and propose underground tunnel connections to Marion Hall and Colonel By Hall.

The reports say the site is currently developed with a parking lot, MacDonald Hall and the School of Information Technology and Engineering computer lab, more commonly known as the CUBE Building.

Some residents posted photos of the CUBE building being demolished last month. Planning documents say MacDonald Hall will also be demolished.

The University of Ottawa declined to answer questions about the demolition or the development application.

However, plans for a new science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, building are contained in the university’s campus master plan, which said the school’s existing spaces are inadequate.

“A new facility is envisioned to revolutionize undergraduate education with teaching spaces that are radically different from existing facilities, and that respond to the newest trends in education,” the report said, adding that the development site could lead to a building of up to  25,000 square metres (269,100 square feet).

The new STEM building will include classrooms, laboratories, offices, workshops, teaching spaces, study rooms and a lecture theatre, according to the development plans.

A hydraulics lab reservoir and a structures lab workspace are proposed for the lowest basement level.

According to an environmental assessment by Geofirms Engineering Ltd., the site was part of the Ottawa University Athletic Oval prior to 1958 when construction of several university buildings began.

The CUBE building was built in 1954, while MacDonald Hall was constructed in 1965, the report said.

Like many universities around Ontario, the University of Ottawa has undergone a building boom over the last decade as it constructed new academic structures, athletic facilities and labs.

These include the social sciences tower overlooking the Transitway corridor, a sports stadium near the Rideau River and an $83 million learning centre that’s scheduled to be completed next year.

Other companies involved in the STEM building’s construction include:

- Perkins + Will

- Golder Associates (geotechnical report)

- Lashley + Associates (landscape architect)

- Novatech (site servicing report)

- Farley, Smith & Denis Surveying Ltd.