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Tuesday April 22nd, 2014

Posted at 7:35pm

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The University of Windsor is set to begin a major transformation of the historic Windsor Armouries located in downtown Windsor into the new home for the School of Creative Arts.

The University’s Board of Governors approved a $32.6M budget for the project, Tuesday afternoon, and the University will begin the process by hiring a construction manager to coordinate the complicated renovation.

Work includes converting the existing 46,400 square foot property into a 66,000 square foot home for the combined programs in of the School of Music, the School of Visual Arts and the new Film Production Program.

The University says that renovations will carefully preserve the historic 1902 structure, while the interior excavation will create an additional lower level, and enable underpinning and shoring of the foundation.

A second floor will be constructed and a smaller third floor will provide space for building services. A partial demolition of the southern end of the building will allow for the addition of a 140-seat performance hall. Other spaces will include classrooms, seminar and meeting and study rooms, computer facilities, practice studios, art and architecture studios, and offices for faculty and staff. Construction is expected to begin this June, with a plan to open for classes in the fall of 2016.

The majority of the funding for the project consists of the previously announced support of $15M from the Ontario government and $10M from the City of Windsor, in addition to the City’s donation of the building itself. The final land transfer agreement with the City of Windsor is expected in the weeks ahead. The University says the balance of the funds will come from other capital revenues and on-going fundraising efforts.

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