What would make West Campus a destination?

Provide your answer in the comments section. Feel free to post photos or links to elaborate on your thoughts and leave your e-mail address if you’d like a private response! See other discussions  here.

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17 Responses to What would make West Campus a destination?

  1. cametoqueensformainnotwest says:

    It doesn’t have a sense of ‘place’ – there’s nothing anchoring the campus. The buildings also seem set up haphazardly – away from the street and interrupted by parking lots and roads. There’s also no place to walk/gather/converge/have a a coffee. The buildings and architecture also seem very outdated. It can’t just be the buildings though because Waterloo/Laurier (even York!) have horrible buildings but don’t exude that same morbid community college feeling west has.

    If Queen’s could stick to the traditional collegiate planning, we’d all be happy. That is – put up some nice grand buildings along the exterior of the space with a library and cafe in them and then have quads and sportsfields down the middle. For a primer on cheap good-looking architecture and design principles look no further than Western’s developing southern campus (where they built the labatt building) which exudes that university feeling queens kids are yearning for.

    • qucampusplan says:

      Some great, points. Thanks!

      • oncampus1 says:

        Across the road from the Faculty of Ed. main entrance, some of the land that was recently acquired (along with the old prison building) could be developed so that there is welcoming green space with sitting areas, a water feature, shade and food outlet(s) immediately accessible and visible from the road(s) and from traffic passing by on Union Str. This would be a draw: a coffee/tea place, small grocery and place for lunch/dinner would be great (no fast food burger/fries please). The current bus stop there is very with students busy Sept – Apr and would bring even more people in. Another idea would be creating some clubs space, meeting rooms, or conference rooms. Not sure if or how to tie this up with the amazing new performing arts centre coming soon to the waterfront that will be 10 mins walk from West Campus.

      • qucampusplan says:

        oncampus1, some very good ideas. Is your suggestion to have open space on the Prison for Women site based on the thoughts that the open space north of the Faculty of Education should remain sports fields? – Anthony

  2. TeachUsOutside says:

    I would love to see the grounds of the Faculty of Education be a place where teaching is exemplified – connecting learning to the outdoors is a growing movement globally, so Queen’s candidates should be on the front end, learning about some basic ways to connect their teaching to outdoor resources and spaces available. Bring in school ground naturalization, which is being promoted in professional literature and schools in Ontario currently, so that teacher candidates can experience this type of learning while in their B.Ed. year – professors at the faculty have commented that they would like a place to meet with their classes outside where there is seating and some separation from the noise of Sir John A.

    • qucampusplan says:

      This is a really interesting idea that also contributes to one of the CMPs goals of creating a more sustainable campus. While the CMP will more broadly assess what types of spaces and uses are best suited where, we will also be providing recommendations for the different types of appropriate and desired outdoor spaces. Naturalized, outdoor teaching places will be noted as we move forward with a vision and the draft plan. – Anthony

  3. Adam Fuller says:

    In the Jean Royce Hall Residence at West Campus there is little to no accessible entrances or washrooms. The washrooms are outdated and dirty . There are no wheelchair accessible stalls.

    To enter Jean Royce Hall in a wheelchair, you must go all the way down the driveway to the east end of Duncan McArthur then up the sidewalk and across the entire length of the building. Once you reach the Jean Royce Hall Main Doors the doors are not wheel chair accessible. Unfortunately I found out recently when trying to visit a friend in Jean Royce Hall. I then went back to the Duncan McArthur entrance which was closed on the weekend so I was unable to visit my friend. I thought Queen’s was attempting to be barrier free? Is there anything in the works to do anything about this?

    • qucampusplan says:

      Hi Adam,

      One part of the consultant team is an accessibility firm called BDEL, led by Betty Dion. Accessibility is a key consideration of the CMP and — you’re right — the University has made a commitment to working towards being barrier free. The final CMP will include an accessibility component.

      I will be sure to pass on this specific comment to Betty and will invite her to respond directly.

      – Anthony

    • LR says:

      Hey Adam,
      Just wanted to let you know that the accessibility issue on West Campus has not gone unnoticed by others. I ride my bike to Duncan McArthur most days and have often thought about what a dismal layout the ramps have. However I didn’t realize that given DM is locked on the weekends, there is no accessible entrance to Jean Royce. At the risk of sounding like a teenager – this is cringe-worthy. It should be highly embarrassing for Queen’s as an institution of higher learning that so little thought has been put into an accessible layout for one of their residences. I know that retrofitting probably takes time and must go through some gauntlet of approvals but come on Queen’s, it’s almost 2014. The B.Ed. program goes through great lengths to teach us how to create ‘inclusive’ classrooms. Kinda tough to have an inclusive classroom if students can’t get into the buildings…

  4. GreenforHealth says:

    I agree that outdoor space at West would be the way to go. One thing that I think is very under-emphasised is the proximity to the Lake! We are so close to such a lovely resource, and yet there really isn’t much that connects Queen’s students to the water. The Women’s Prison space + some greening and school ground naturalization at West would be a great start. Outdoor teaching space for BEd groups, plus a unique space that could be reserved for special events would be really neat. For example, a lot of clubs or extra-curricular groups that are run through Queen’s could use the space for training. It also opens up the possibility to rent to outside agencies – a fun, unique training / conference space for groups that are willing to ‘rough it’ a little could be great. For example, when I was a BEd student there was some talk of setting up a yurt for teaching & training, but I’m not sure what happened with that in the end? Yurts can be super beautiful and functional spaces – many provincial parks and conferences are putting them in as high-end rental options. As well, there is significant research linking outdoor experiences and mental health – having spaces for students to relax or study outside with friends and having spaces that could be used for teaching workshops or even meditation, yoga classes etc, at West would be a nice addition to the recreation and wellness facilities on main campus.

    • qucampusplan says:

      Some really interesting points. I definitely agree that access and orientation to the lake should be a key priority in the CMP. Already in these early stages of the study process, there has been much voicing of this from the Queen’s Community and with the Prison for Women Site slated for re-use, there are certainly opportunities to explore linkage opportunities.

      We’ve also been hearing the desire for a number of “less conventional” uses for outdoor space, many of which are demonstrative in nature, responding to different faculty or community-specific needs. While the CMP will not be so specific in recommending these sorts of places, we will be making broader recommendations regarding appropriate places for different types of open space. Within the next week or so, we’ll be starting a “submissions” page where you can submit your photos or links to other places or institutions that are building the types of things you’d like to see on campus. Some photos of how yurts that might work in an institutional setting would be a great thing to submit. – Anthony

  5. kenzierenee says:

    I definitely agree with the idea of a cafe or small grocery store on West. It’s very frustrating trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle when the majority of what’s offered in the cafeteria is either tasteless or really unhealthy, and everything available from the barista bar is either deep fried or chocolate. My options are salad, an apple, or yoghurt. A small grocery store would be a great way for me to have healthier options in the fridge in my room.

    • Norma says:

      There’s already a great neighbourhood grocery store on Union St at Livingston called “Bearances”- three blocks east of west campus. Perhaps they could be encouraged to extend their hours past 6pm.

  6. Sara M says:

    I also feel that more natural, yet usable, space would be beneficial. Specifically I would love to see the investment in a ~2 km walking and running trail (surfaced in cinders and/or wood chips) winding in and around the perimeter. It could be developed into a fitness trail (aka “Parcourse”) by adding stations for things like pull-ups, plyometrics and stretching, and include instructions geared to all ability levels. (See http://www.fittrail.com for many examples of stations.) The trail could also meander through – and point out through signage – natural places of interest such as tree species, birdhouses, or wildflowers.

    • qucampusplan says:

      Those are some really interesting ideas, Sara. One thing we’ve been hearing is that West Campus needs to be treated differently than Main Campus, and these ideas provide some great ideas for what could make it a distinct place.

  7. GetmeOutside says:

    I’ll echo support for an outdoor classroom on West. The classroom could be surrounded by real green space – not astroturf, there are enough sports fields around campus already. Plant groves of NATIVE trees, as opposed to token ornamentals like the ones currently growing in the courtyards of Duncan McArthur. Black walnuts, crabapples, apple trees would be a great addition because actually produce edible fruit which is a great teaching resource for BEd. classes. Also the Serviceberry would bring in alot of songbirds. Here’s a great resource for choosing native trees: http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en/Business/ClimateChange/2ColumnSubPage/STDPROD_102478.html
    Ideas for the actual outdoor classroom might involve enough seating for a class of 30 or so. This could be built as a natural amphitheatre using some of the sloped terrain. Evergreen has a great online toolpack for outdoor learning environments: http://www.evergreen.ca/docs/res/Design-Ideas-10-Seating.pdf
    The spend so much time talking about inclusive classrooms and differentiated instruction in the BEd. program. An outdoor classroom would help teacher candidates to actually envision how they could integrate outdoor learning into all subject areas.

  8. garry says:

    Outdoor Classroom! Schools all around are building outdoor learning spaces but there doesn’t seem to be a strong sense of how to use them. I would love to see a more naturalized area on west campus with elements of an outdoor classroom (stone block/log seating or some sort of landscaped amphitheatre for 25 or more). Curriculum professors can use the space to model how to teach outdoors and it can also double as a place to relax and socialize.

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