Place Riel Student Centre Expansion/Renovation
After more than two years of construction, renovations to the Place Riel Student Centre were unveiled on August 18, 2011.
With the future needs of students in mind, the University of Saskatchewan Students’ Union (USSU) partnered with the University of Saskatchewan to expand and renovate Place Riel. The new space, now 5,100 square metres thanks to a four-storey addition, was designed to offer non-academic services and to meet the needs of a growing university population. As the front door to the university, the building is a major improvement and provides a great space for the university community to gather and get to know each other.
Beyond the four-storey addition, a few other changes stand out. The North Concourse is an expanded area of the existing main floor of Place Riel that now extends north of the old building toward the bowl to fill in the former exterior space between the Murray Building and Marquis Hall. Similar to other infill projects on campus, the exterior walls of both Murray and Marquis are now interior walls of the new building. Through careful planning using upper level skylights and atria, the designers have ensured natural light still penetrates the new space.
Renovations to the main floor and the lower level of Place Riel, consisting of the following:
- Relocation of USSU Offices to the new construction addition.
- Relocation of International Student space (Global Commons) to an expanded space within the renovated lower level of Place Riel.
- Enhanced function of the lower level of Place Riel to improve circulation, access, capacity of food service outlets, increase seating, etc.
- Elimination of escalators and replacement with stairs (similar to the Place Riel/Arts Building stairway).
- Addition of student common space at main floor Place Riel.
- Potential space for student clubs that currently reside in Memorial Union Building/Sask Hall basement, etc.
- Creation of new bank machine space.
Lower Place Riel now features a wide variety of food outlets, a spacious seating area, retail space, and the International Student and Study Abroad Centre. The main level has been opened up and now houses USSU reception, an information kiosk, a travel agency, and a pharmacy. It is also home to the Alumni Wall of Honour, which features an interactive touch screen and display that highlight prominent University of Saskatchewan alumni and donors. The Alumni Wall was constructed to recognize alumni accomplishments as well as the impact donors have on the university and its students.
One final objective that remains outstanding is to obtain LEED certification for the project. The project’s documentation is currently being assembled for submission to the reviewing bodies in anticipation of achieving this certification.