Innovation Village: Many changes taking place as construction begins

Header image for the article Innovation Village: Many changes taking place as construction begins Credit: EMILY STEWART
Phase One of Innovation Village construction kicked off with LEAP Junction Entrepreneurial Services re-locating to M3001 after closing the doors to its former F1012 location.

As Innovation Village’s first phase begins, an on-campus entrepreneurial hub starts its new chapter and nearby study areas close.

Emails from Fanshawe College’s Corporate Communications Department provided dates for the closures and alternative study areas.

LEAP Junction Entrepreneurial Services closed the doors to its former F1012 location on Jan. 17 and re-opened in its new location M3001 on Jan. 21. The study room and lounge room nearby LEAP closed permanently on Jan. 17. Students can work on their assignments and study for their exams at the study lounges on the second floor of A, D, and T Buildings.

Get the TD Insurance app.

The Homework Lab in room F1000 closed on Jan. 22 and will reopen in its new location in A2024 on Feb. 3. Students will have to do their homework in the labs L2005 and B1049 in the meantime.

Construction begins on Jan. 27 with fencing and hoarding in the SUB (Student Union Building) and F courtyard and some trees removed in the area. There will be new trees planted on campus at a later time. Construction will also begin at the student lounge and homework lab in F Building.

The emergency phone in G Courtyard will also be removed. Any emergencies should be reported to 519-452-4242 and inquires sent to emo@nullfanshawec.ca.

As reported in a previous Interrobang article published Oct. 18, 2019, Anne Marie DeCicco-Best, the College’s executive advisor and government relations, said Innovation Village will cost $58-million and renovate 66,000 square feet of space.

David Belford, the executive director of Innovation Village, said that when completed, Innovation Village will create new spaces for students. The project rooms will be comparable to the library’s current rooms. There will be a makerspace, a virtual reality lab and a re-located library.

Innovation Village will also create experiential learning experiences for students. The project’s teaching and learning strategy ensures every Fanshawe student graduates with signature innovative learning experiences (SILEx) and job skills for the future.

Belford said signature innovative learning experiences include researching and working with community organizations, and is already part of plenty of programs. The job skills of the future including social intelligence, creativity, and adaptive thinking, will prepare students for their careers based on what employers say are required for the future.

“Students should start seeing some of those things in their curriculum if they’re not already there in the next year or two as we roll this out.”

Innovation Village will renovate the SUB, F, and L Buildings. There will be alternative routes to get from building to building on campus while construction occurs. The first phase of construction is expected to finish sometime in September 2020. Phases Two and Three, which will experience some overlap, will likely begin in the late summer and early fall and finish by the spring of 2023.

“As far as the campus itself, there will be construction right in the middle of it,” Belford said.

He added students with questions specific to their program should ask their professors. If students are curious about how Innovation Village affects the SUB, they can talk to the Fanshawe Student Union (FSU). Construction updates will be sent out via communications notices on a regular basis.

“It’s very exciting,” Belford said. “It’s going to be a little dust and construction for a while, but it’s going to be a great facility when it’s done and we know that students will make really good use of it.”

For more information about Innovation Village, visit fanshawec.ca/about-fanshawe/choose-fanshawe/innovation-village.