Waterloo Residences acknowledges that we live and work on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg, and Haudenosaunee peoples. The University of Waterloo is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land promised to the Six Nations that includes ten kilometers on each side of the Grand River.
As part of our commitment to uphold Housing’s mission, the Residence Facilities team is constantly working to develop and implement various maintenance and renewal initiatives to existing spaces. We also plan and create new spaces to ensure we’re meeting the needs of our students now and into the future.
Projects Past, Current, and Future
COVID-19 Building Enhancement Project
Most of the projects planned for the 20/21 year were put on hold to dedicate time and invest in space improvements due to COVID-19. Here is our 4-phase plan:
- Phase 1: Replace safety hazards where possible. These changes reduced touch points.
- Install touchless fixtures, door foot pulls and foot operated elevator buttons
- Change doorknobs to door levers.
- Phase 2: Isolate students and staff from the hazard. These changes help keep students and staff safe when they are not able to socially distance.
- Add partitions at our customer service locations, barriers between common seating, barriers in washrooms and between sinks, etc.
- Phase 3: Eliminate hazards from our spaces. These changes allow students to socialize and study in a safe manner.
- Remove some furniture to encourage social distancing measures and reduce gathering numbers
- Closure of spaces that do not provide space for social distancing and reduction of double bedrooms to single bedrooms
- Phase 4: Change the way we use our spaces. These changes informed students how the buildings would operate and helped promote education on preventing COVID-19.
- Create path of travel in residences, posting signage to communicate changes to our spaces, rules for use, new cleaning hours, etc. Outdoor Amenities
Other Past Projects
- Claudette Millar Hall pedestrian pathway: Redesign of the parking layout and construction of a wide walkway from CMH to University Avenue West. The purpose was to improve traffic flow and provide safe pedestrian access at UWP, and increase accessibility with a new ramp.
- Beck Hall Roadway: Create a permanent paved roadway by Beck Hall, intended to improve circulation of traffic throughout UWP.
- Village 1 Sanitary and Tunnel Repairs: Address needed repairs of service tunnels and sanitary lines at V1. This also included extensive landscaping, improved parking and traffic circulation, as well as repairs to exterior pathways in V1 North, West and South.
- AODA Accessible Upper Year Suite: – Waterloo Court suite renovations. This was intended to provide accessible space to students with a documented medical need.
- New Multi-faith Space: Provide an additional Multi-Faith room for Campus Housing residents. This project was based on student feedback and was created to provide a more convenient faith-based space in residence.
- Music Room: Increase level of sound absorption and update space in Village 1 music room.
Lighting, Access and Security at UW Place: The RSSIAC Committee (Residence Safety Security Infrastructure Advisory Committee), which includes representatives from Housing Facilities and Residence Life, Campus Police and the Safety Office, meets several times a year to discuss potential safety infrastructure enhancements throughout our Housing communities.
In partnership with our partners at Plant Operations, our goal is to have these projects completed by the end of January 2021.
Install brighter bulbs in existing fixtures and repaired any underperforming existing lighting across UWP (completed)
Install new lighting at courts entrances, at the existing garbage enclosure areas, and in the courtyards
Install new pot lights around the Grand Commons
Secure the outside door of the main entrance vestibules with WatCard access at the UWP courts
Add WatCard access, video surveillance, and a door position sensor to the side doors from the courtyard into each UWP court
Secure the entrance vestibules at Beck and Eby Halls with WatCard, and provide WatCard access at the front and back doors of CMH
Add reflective window film to reduce the ability of people to see into some ground floor bedrooms from outside during the day
Install additional cameras in UWP, to cover bike racks and less frequented areas
The Residence Facilities team works on continuously improving our communities through long term strategic planning. Some future projects to look out for include:
- Evaluate current condition of all housing sites
- Take some of the following into consideration: accessibility, stormwater management, bicycle parking locations, site furnishings, health and safety, etc.
- Address current deteriorating pathways with possible new materials considered for increased durability and improved salt management
- Make improvements related to energy conservation, such as LED lighting retrofits and insulated glass installations/replacements
- Future considerations for Housing improvements may include:
- Occupancy/ vacancy sensors for lighting and HVAC
- Low-flow or AutoFlush Valve installation on fixtures
- High efficiency equipment, etc.
- Bedroom and Corridor Improvements
- Updated paint and floor finishes being discussed for REV, MKV, V1, MH, UWP
- Increase the aesthetic of the residences and the value of living there
- Improve the environment to create a more welcoming, attractive space
Frequently Asked Questions
How did you decide which physical building changes to make in residence to help prevent the spread of COVID?
To help limit the spread of COVID-19, Campus Housing has taken measures to align with the most recent guidance from the Government of Canada, Public Health Ontario and Waterloo Region bylaws. As more information becomes available and bylaws change, we will continue to be flexible in updating our spaces to keep students and staff safe. In addition, we have connected with educational leaders across the country to learn about their approach, share ideas and inform our response.
Why do you complete building updates and renewal initiatives?
Campus Housing is always aiming to improve our spaces in order to continue to meet the evolving needs of current and future students. We know there is a strong correlation between student engagement and their living environment. Our long-term goal is to provide a consistent, enjoyable experience across our communities, where all students succeed personally and academically.
How do you decide which projects to implement?
We use a variety of methods to collect feedback and make decisions on which projects to move forward, including but not limited to:
- Student feedback
- Facilities assessments
- Structured stakeholder engagement
How can students provide feedback on their needs and projects they would like to see?
Campus Housing is comprised of a number of diverse staff teams dedicated to improving residences and helping our students succeed. Students that would like to provide feedback can reach out to email@example.com. Based on the feedback, our staff will be able to direct students to the team that is knowledgeable on the subject and best suited to answer your inquiries.