The Housing and Residences team works to provide our students with more than just a place to live. It is our mission to foster meaningful growth and learning opportunities by providing a safe, accessible, clean and supportive home where all students succeed personally and academically. We go beyond housing.
As part of our commitment to uphold Housing’s mission, the Residence Facilities team is constantly working to improve our spaces. Our team is always working to develop, plan and implement various maintenance and renewal initiatives to update our existing spaces. We are also planning the creation of new spaces to continue to meet the needs of our students now and into the future.
Recent capital improvement projects
- Laundry Equipment Replacement
- Replaced laundry machines in the V1, CLV, Wellesley and Woolwich residences this past Spring and Fall term
- Faster, more efficient machines provide better value
- Replacing all machines at once as a preventative maintenance measure reduces the risk of breakdowns in older machines
- Beck Bunk Units
- New loft furniture for double bedrooms and kitchen furniture for floors 6-13
- Update of all single bedrooms and remaining first year double bedrooms planned for Fall 2019
- V1 Dining Hall Flooring
- New flooring installed in V1 central complex games area and dining hall
- Updated the look of the central complex, and provides a more durable, low maintenance solution for the high traffic area
- Planning replacement of all furniture to match new dining hall style of CMH
- UWP Courts Lobby Redesign
- Testing vending machine move out of study lounge to front entrance in Waterloo North Court
- New entrance lobby furniture installed to create a welcoming environment for students and guests
- Currently gathering feedback on this entrance, plans to rollout entrance updates to all courts
- Improved Basketball Courts
- New asphalt poured and modern, durable nets installed at the V1, REV and CLV basketball courts
- CMH Vacant Lounges
- 11 of the vacant lounges in CMH, one per floor, were updated with new furniture based on student feedback
- Each lounge now has one sectional, a study table for 4 people and a white board
- Further plans to gather feedback and determine if the remaining vacant lounge layout per floor should be altered in any way
Ongoing capital improvement projects
- UWP Courts Security
- Increase the safety of students and staff at Uwaterloo by updating the security doors and adding cameras, driven by Residence Safety & Security Infrastructure Advisory Committee
- Security updates improve the wellbeing of students and create a safer environment for learning and living
- UWP Tunnel Repairs
- Continuing work on the tunnels, over 300’ of tunnels covering the span from Waterloo to Woolwich courts have been structurally stabilized (reinforced, underpinned and wrapped in concrete)
- This work will ensure our students continue to receive essential service such as heat, electricity and network cabling.
- Proactive identification of the structural condition led to our execution of this work ahead of any substantial breakdowns.
- Traffic Management UWP
- Project driven by Residence Safety & Security Infrastructure Advisory Committee
- Improving traffic flow and circulation at UWP, new accessible ramp at University Ave W
- Redesigning the parking layout and planning the construction of a wide pedestrian walkway from CMH to University Ave W
- UWP Fibre Installation
- Installing single mode fibre optic cable at UWP that will allow us to reach exceptional limits regarding wireless capacity
- V1 House Lounges
- Planning the furniture renewal of all 26 floor lounges in V1
- Improved space intended to increase student interaction in each community and meet the needs of the V1 students with durable, higher quality furniture
- Wayfinding Signage Update
- Partnering with UWaterloo campus to implement new wayfinding signage that helps students and guests navigate the campus
- Signage will reflect changes that have been made in recent years to improve the campus and student living
- Updated wayfinding aims to be more visually appealing and add value to the community
- Bike Fixit Stations
- Installation of 7 bike fixit stations being completed across all residence communities
- These stations include all the tools necessary to perform basic bike repairs and maintenance
- Wall Art
- Researching the potential benefits of commissioning one or multiple interactive wall murals around Waterloo Residences
- Initiative to increase student engagement, interaction and perceived value of living in residence
Future capital improvement projects
- Sustainability Capstone Project
- Partnering with sustainability office to do electrical usage study in one residence building, expected to start in Winter 19 term
- 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
- Improving the environment to create a more welcoming, attractive space
- Matching the space finishes to new furniture purchased in recent years
- Bedroom Furniture Replacement
- Provide consistent bedroom furniture across residences
- Offer the same quality of furniture to each student in any residence
- Wellesley Court furniture upgrade planned for Winter 19 term
- Residence Landscaping Upgrades
- Capital planning will be evaluating the current condition of all housing sites
- Future landscape design will be taking some of the following into consideration: accessibility, stormwater management, bicycle parking locations, site furnishings, health and safety, etc.
- Current deteriorating pathways will be one of the main issues addressed, with possible new materials considered for increased durability and improved salt management
- Campus Wide Waste Strategies
- University is evaluating its current waste management infrastructure and practices in order to address changes to Governmental legislation
- Will have a significant impact on internal and external infrastructure in Housing
- Changes may include collection of organics (green bin material), further separation of recyclables (fine paper, plastics, cardboard, glass, metals, etc.), and genuine waste
- Housing is planning for these changes in the near future and will continue to communicate with students and staff on how we can improve our waste management
- Energy Conservation
- Housing has begun to make improvements related to energy conservation, such as LED lighting retrofits and insulated glass installations/replacements
- There are a large number of further opportunities for energy saving within Housing
- 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.
What is the Low Hanging Fruit (LHF) project?
The LHF project is an annual Residence Facilities initiative that seeks to improve students’ residence experience by delivering tangible, easily implementable, facility-related projects.
Given that our ongoing and future capital improvement projects take time to implement and our current students may not always see the benefits of our improvements while living here, the LHF project gives us an opportunity to implement improvements that current students can see and benefit from.
The project outcomes are heavily based on student feedback, and are intended to:
- Support student learning
- Encourage interaction and engagement
- Benefit as many students as possible
In 2016-2017, we invested a little over $300,000 to improve student’s experience through the LHF project. Some of the project outcomes included:
- Refinishing the REV fitness room with new equipment, flooring, and livening up the space with a fresh coat of vibrant paint
- Creating more community spaces in our Community Centres by introducing new lounge furniture
- Updating the a/v equipment in all of our Community Centres and in the UWP lounges
In 2017-2018, we invested approximately $700,000 to improve student’s experience through the LHF project. Some of the project outcomes included:
- CLV: Redesign the Community Centre layout and replace furniture
- REV: Redesign the dining hall layout and piloted some new furniture
- MKV: Replace all mattresses
- V1: Replace all mattresses, new study furniture
- UWP: Redesign Court lounges layout and piloted one new lounge
- CMH: Add towel bars to students’ bedrooms
- MH: Update some of the kitchen appliances and Great Hall amenities
In 2018-2019, we are still gathering feedback and considering some of the following improvements:
- Sheltered and secure bike storage for each residence community
- Continue to replace mattresses in other residences
- Replace old desk chairs
- Install new window blinds
- Replace desk lamps with LED models
- Improve Community Centre amenities
- Provide more fans for students to sign out
- Install bidets in central complex washrooms
Frequently Asked Questions
What are tangible improvements?
Tangible improvements include items that students can directly perceive and interact with (think: furniture, A/V equipment, charging stations, etc.)
What do you consider to be "easily implementable improvements"?
Given that the project seeks to implement improvements that our current students can benefit from, easily implementable refers to items that can be initiated in the fall term and implemented by the end of the following academic term. This ensures that students can observe and benefit from the improvements each year.
What are facility-related improvements?
Given that the LHF project is a Residence Facilities initiative, facility-related improvements refer to items that affect our physical spaces in and around residence, or the objects/assets found within our spaces.
How do you collect student feedback?
We use a variety of methods to collect student feedback, including but not limited to:
- Meeting with student groups, such as the Marketing Advisory Board and Residence Council, to seek their feedback
- Analyzing data collected from the Skyfactor/EBI survey, which is sent to all residents living in our buildings every term on an annual basis.
- Through surveys, which are distributed via our Housekeepers, Residence Attendants, Dons and Front Desk Assistants
We also collect feedback and input from our staff, given their many years of experience working to support students and their experience working to understand the needs of our students.
How do you decide which improvements to implement?
Our team reviews all of the feedback we collect and measures it a decision-making matrix that is based on the guiding principles of the project, while also keeping in mind improvements that will already be addressed through our long-term plans.