Moving house: FIMS prepares for new digs

By Communications Staff

Lawrence National Centre - Ivey School of Business
If all goes according to plan, the FIMS community will have a new building to call home sometime in 2015.  Extensive planning by the space committee is well underway, and faculty, staff and students have begun to imagine what their new spaces will look like, and how they can be used.

The Faculty of Information and Media Studies, currently housed in North Campus Building, will be moving from 28,000 square feet on primarily one floor, to 40,000 square feet on four floors in the former Ivey School of Business building (now known as the HBA Building).

FIMS will be taking over the Lawrence National Centre, vacated by the business school.  The increase in space is allowing for a reimagining of instructional and social spaces within the environment.

“I see advantages from an enlarged and interestingly complex space, potential room to grow, and a central campus location,” explained Acting Dean Nick Dyer-Witheford.  “I look forward to the exciting atrium space, and to some of the beautiful views of campus architecture and trees.”

A lot of thought is going into how to best integrate all facets of the community into a cohesive environment.  For example, areas housing offices are being designed to include both faculty members and their graduate students in the same space, to allow for mingling and cross-disciplinary interaction and learning.

There is also planning on how to best provide administrative services and common social spaces to both undergraduate and graduate students.  The goal is to create a unified space, where everyone is an integrated component of the FIMS community.

Dyer-Witheford, who has now moved multiple times with the Faculty, said that past instances have taught him that “careful planning is very important.”  

The critical work is being done by the Space Committee which includes faculty members, staff and members of the university’s Institutional Planning and Budgeting Department, in consultation with architects MMMC, Inc., based in Hamilton.

Currently the committee is in the “programming stage,” meaning they know where big blocks of people and services will be located within the building, but not the details of the individual rooms and spaces themselves.

With FIMS' Dean Thomas Carmichael currently away on sabbatical, Acting Dean Dyer-Witheford is now heading up the group.

“As Acting Dean I have just started chairing the FIMS Space Committee, and I'm deeply impressed by the depth of work FIMS' faculty and staff have put in to preparing for this move, and their high level of cooperation with our architects and with the University's Institutional Planning and Budgeting Department,” he said.

More details to come in the following months!