Algonquin College’s DARE (Discovery, Applied Research and Entrepreneurship) District includes the College’s new library and learning center, an indigenous commons, a cybersecurity center and collaborative work spaces that allow students to try out the latest technology.

Our work on this educational construction project blended renovation with new construction and included:

  • Demolition of the masonry cladding system, mechanical and electrical systems and interior finishes on three levels. Demolition went back to the original concrete structure.
  • Structural upgrades to the existing foundations with the use of micro piles.
  • Addition of a level on the existing roof which comprised an arched mass timber structure.
  • Construction of a new curtainwall and aluminum panel cladding on all four elevations.
  • Mechanical, electrical and architectural fit-up throughout all four floors.
  • Extensive courtyard landscaping. 

Throughout construction we worked closely with the College to incorporate numerous Indigenous design features within the DARE spaces – always with careful attention to the College’s budget parameters. A celebration of Indigenous culture, these unique spaces include the Indigenous Learning Commons, Institute for Indigenization, library space containing traditional Indigenous resources, and the outdoor courtyard, with its Gathering Circle and fire-vessel. Features include Indigenous artwork such as wood sculptures and murals, extensive architectural wood ceilings, and curved glass design. 

Differing funding sources and their respective timing resulted in extensive program changes after construction began. The team integrated these changes and maintained the original completion date for students and faculty. 

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