– Ahmed S. Minhas, staff
In hopes of expansion and accommodating the growing Laurier Brantford student population, Laurier plans on adding a new residence building located on the corner of Dalhousie St. and Queen St.
This location is where the Brantford Expositor building once stood, housing The Expositor newspaper that’s been serving the Brantford and the Brant County community for more than a century.
The new building will aptly be named the Expositor Place featuring an apartment style placement with room for almost 200 students on four floors.
An emphasis will be on creating more suites per floor. This means that there will be a smaller number of students per apartment.
Apartments are not the only things the Expositor Place will feature.
“From the most recent designs I’ve seen, the main floor would have a couple of apartments on it and then there would be four floors of residence above,” said Chris Eley, manager of Brantford residence. “The main floor would also have a food court area in it as well as some common space. And then there would be laundry and common space and those types of things in the basement.”
The company developing the building, Vicano Construction Ltd., plans on accommodating three commercial spaces for restaurants in the food court. However, this food court has no relation to WLUSU’s planned food services facility.
Peter Vicano, president of Vicano Construction Ltd. hopes to refurbish the building to its original architectural appeal.
The original building will be expanded to allow a fourth floor. There will also be an expansion on the west side of the building which will be predominantly glass.
The company also plans to make some of the apartments are completely accessible with all the latest features necessary to accommodate tenants with disabilities.
Brantford based Vicano Construction Ltd. is also set to receive a grant of nearly half a million dollars from the city of Brantford. The grant was quickly approved as this project easily falls under the category of downtown restoration. In addition the project plans to restore and maintain the existing portions of the 116 year old Expositor building
Eley emphasizes the importance that although Laurier is interested in using the building for student residence, Laurier has no commitment to the building.
“I just want to be clear (that) Laurier as of right now has no commitment to the Expositor building. Right now it is a private development being done by a private company. We may enter into a lease agreement in the future, but as of right now, that’s a hundred percent private development and we have no commitment.”
The owner of the building, Peter Vicano, and Laurier hope to make an agreement to lease the space in the future.
The building is expected to be completed and ready for the fall of 2012.