Eyes On The Future
In 2016, the University of Calgary will celebrate its 50th anniversary. Over the past five decades, its main campus has grown from two buildings that housed four faculties to a community all its own made up of more than 50 buildings, 14 faculties and an annual population of more than 30,000 students.
As the university continues to create high-quality learning environments, one of its original faculties is also doing its part to ensure students will be given the opportunity to thrive through collaborative work and hands-on experiences for years to come. Starting out in what is now known as the Science A building, this faculty relocated to its permanent home in November 1964. By the time its first undergraduate class — a group of 85 men — walked the convocation stage in 1969, construction of the first four sections of its building was complete. It wasn’t until 1982 that its fifth area was completed, 12 years after the faculty graduated its first female student.
Besides classrooms and academic offices, these buildings also offered quirky features such as a shrinking hallway, a “door to nowhere” and a meeting space for poets. Over the years, many tales have swirled about these areas — accounts of objects being suspended from the university’s entrance arch, of disassembled campus artwork and of adventures through underground tunnels. It is, however, hard to confirm the details of these urban legends. Or are they?
As the faculty’s academic offerings became more diverse, it saw an increase in student interest from both new and existing students. In 2014, 95 per cent of first-year undergraduate students moved on to second year, and, in 2015, the faculty accepted approximately 800 undergraduate students, 28 per cent of whom identified as female. This increase of popularity, coupled with the desire to provide a better academic experience for students and teachers, sparked this newest wave of construction and renovations.
How to Play
For correctly naming the mystery location on campus, one reader will receive a $70 gift certificate to UCalgary’s bookstore. Visit: ucalgarymag.ca/wherearewe
With a focus on achieving student success through collaborative student spaces and innovative academic programming, current construction will connect all six areas of this faculty’s home, create more research labs and allow students to work closely with one another. The construction will also change the way students are taught, with instructors moving away from a traditional lecturing model towards a collaborative design-based learning approach. With the creation of two new large lab spaces, each with a capacity of 230 seats, professors will soon be able to teach amongst groups of students and provide better hands-on support. The construction will also allow student-advising offices to be centralized, the student lounge to be updated with new food services and more student club space.
With the bulk of the renovated undergraduate student space opening in fall 2016, the faculty will have another reason to celebrate along with UCalgary’s half-century mark. When the doors open to this new space, where will the celebration be happening? U