Students at Georgian College’s Orillia Campus are finding comfort in their home away from home with several newly renovated spaces.
An upgraded cafeteria, pub, quiet study space, prayer/meditation room and student association office were unveiled on Jan. 24 at a gathering of students and staff during the kickoff to the winter semester.
The upgrades were funded by the Georgian College Students’ Association (GCSA), who in 2015 announced a historic $7.2-million gift to upgrade student services at each of Georgian’s seven campuses.
“We’re really proud of these changes and students are already making great use of the spaces,” says Scott Mason, GCSA Orillia President. “The GCSA executive identified areas that were most important to us as students and we worked with the college to enhance services for students to enjoy now and into the future.”
At the ribbon cutting, Mason also recognized past GCSA executives as this has been a multi-year project.
Georgian President and CEO MaryLynn West-Moynes was on hand to thank the GCSA for its leadership.
“Each association executive over the past four years continued to support and move forward the vision to transform the student experience. You need only look around today to see the incredible results of their efforts,” she says.
The biggest part of the renovation was converting the former dental lab into the new student association office. For the first time, the GCSA executive and three student life staff are able to work out of the same space. Students can access many services from here including bus passes, student event tickets and the Georgian Food Locker. There is also a boardroom they can reserve for meetings.
Outside the GCSA office, a barrier-free washroom was installed to enhance accessibility.
The cafeteria has new furniture and fresh paint, along with new digital screens and an enhanced audio system. The mezzanine was closed in with a glass partition to create a separate and quieter workspace.
The campus pub The Den has a brand new 10-foot projection screen and audio system.
Finally, the former GCSA office space was converted into a prayer and meditation room.
The GCSA also designated a portion of its gift to help fund the Advanced Technology, Innovation and Research Centre at the Barrie Campus, which will be a game changer for the regional economy when it opens in fall 2018.
The $7.2-million donation by the Georgian College Students’ Association is the largest gift ever given to Georgian’s Power of Education fundraising campaign. Learn more about the campaign.