Monday, January 4, 2016
You might have heard by now about the proposed expansion to the SLC and PAC. Full project information can be found on the Project Website, but I wanted to take some time to explain some of the reasoning behind the proposal.
Ask any student on campus, “Do you think UW has enough space for students?” and you are likely to get a “No”. This attitude points towards the problem, but what data is available on our shortage of space on campus? The Council of Ontario Universities (COU) releases a space assessment of all Ontario universities. Space is classified in to sub-groups and the COU has a recommended amount of each type of space, based on numbers of students, faculty, and staff.  This data is from their last audit in 2013, another will happen later this year. The following is the percentage (%) of space in each category that UW has (out of the amount we should have):
Classrooms 85.5%
Class Labs 88.8%
Research Labs 79.5%
Office – Academic 124.5%
Office – Administration 87.6%
Study Space – 42.0%
Recreation/Athletics – 48.2%
Assembly and exhibition facilities – 40.8%
Common Use and Student Activity – 53.2%
The four worst categories are study space, athletics and recreation, assembly space and student activity space. You can also feel free to be offended that academic office space is at 124.5% of the recommended amount of space, but that is an issue for another day. Study space is already being improved by some of the new faculty buildings that are currently under construction, and the opening of classrooms during off hours for student access. (There is a great widget on the Student Portal for checking out classroom availability – check it out). The other three categories are addressed in the student building proposal: (SLC-PAC Expansion Project)

Recreation/athletics: The project would more than triple the size of the current PAC fitness center, and also add two new fitness studios and a climbing wall.

Assembly and exhibition facilities: The project includes a 150-person room to allow exhibition events and other group events to happen outside of the SLC Great Hall. The additional proposed student lounge space falls under both this category and the next category.
Common use and Student Activity: The project will almost triple the number of seats in the dining area, add a new lounge roughly the size of the SLC Great Hall (that would be a dedicated lounge, not an event space as well), add additional lounges on the upper floors, and increase the number of multi-purpose bookable rooms.
To look at the concept drawings, read through the FAQs and find more information visit the project web site here (
  1. 2020 (6)
  2. 2018 (9)
  3. 2017 (29)
  4. 2016 (13)
  5. 2015 (25)
  6. 2014 (13)
  7. 2013 (16)