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DARE District on track to open second floor May 3

Although the second floor of the new building will be open to students May 3, Algonquin’s $44.9 million DARE District will not be entirely ready for use until mid to late August, as the first floor will continue to undergo construction until the end of July.

For the second-floor opening, however, the college says everything is on track.

“There are no current delays with our move-in plans,” said Duane McNair, vice-president of finance and administration, in an email.

PCL, the company in charge of the project, and its sub-contractors are running three crews around the clock to meet those plans.

The LEED gold-certified building will include a massive spruce ceiling in the library, numerous Indigenous-inspired aspects and windows that will adjust the tint automatically depending on how much sunlight is shining on them.

Despite being heavily inspired by the Indigenous community, many Indigenous features will be incomplete on opening day.

On the ground floor will be an Indigenous centre. The ceiling of the centre, which will consist of wood slats will be incomplete and covered by a black tarp.

An enormous spray-painted mural by Canadian-Chilean artist Shalak Attack, which will be positioned just inside the entrance of the building and span three floors, will also not be in place by the opening.

The exterior courtyard that will be named the Indigenous Courtyard will not be finished until mid-August. It will be built by the same contractors but will be funded by the Students’ Association at a cost of $1 million.

In a press release from the college, it was noted that some services will begin moving in Aug. 1. Those services include but are not limited to the registrar’s office, a test centre, the centre for academic success, the international education centre, the PLAR and pathways office.

The college was granted $21.9 million from the federal government and $2.9 million from Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. Algonquin contributed $20 million from the college’s capital budget and reserve fund.

(THIS IS AN UPDATED VERSION OF A STORY PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED HERE AND IN THE PRINT EDITION OF THE APRIL 19 OF THE ALGONQUIN TIMES).

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