Ryerson president Mohamed Lachemi, wearing a hard hat and safety vest, looked around at the unfinished lecture hall inside the new Daphne Cockwell Health Sciences Complex that’s planned to fit 200 students.
“We have pressure to get more space,” said Ryerson president Mohamed Lachemi. “So this will be for all students.”
Video by Ryan Tuchow
Last Friday, Ryerson’s Facilities and Management Development (FMD) hosted a tour of the construction site for the new Daphne Cockwell Health Sciences Complex at 288 Church St.
The completed building will have 33 floors, eight of which will be for students in health science programs – including nursing, midwifery, nutrition, and occupational and public health.
Construction for the building began in November 2015. Earlier this year the Ryersonian reported that construction had been delayed.
Steve Gray, a construction manager at Eastern Construction, explained why building in the city is “always difficult.”
“A building of this size and caliber is challenging for all. Every construction project goes through its challenges. There are a lot of things we can’t control like weather and other factors. A lot of city permits … so there is always a natural delay occurring in a project and we do the best to work together to get past them.”
Nicole Bennett, director of the midwifery program at Ryerson, spoke to the Ryersonian Friday while cleaning her office in preparation for the move to the new building. Her department is looking forward to the move in August.
“We’re pretty excited about the move because the building will offer some new opportunities for our department,” she said. “The classroom is going to be larger. There will be lockers for our students … and a lot of open study space on the lower floors. So I think the student’s will find it to be (a) really big plus.”
The total cost of construction is $84 million – of which $56 million is being funded by the Ontario Ministry of Education, according to Paul Chung, the project manager with FMD.
The estimated completion date for the first eight floors is summer 2018. Following this, the 18-floor residential tower is expected to be completed in January 2019. The residential tower will have 100 units and space for 332 students, but is not expected to accommodate its first full group of students until the summer of 2019.
The complex and the School of Nursing are named after Daphne Cockwell, a nurse and mother of university donor and member of Ryerson’s board of governors Jack Cockwell. Cockwell’s donations to the school currently exceed $28 million, according to the university’s director of development communications.