Staff, students and the community got a sneak peek this week of the new $23-million GEM residence under construction on St. Clair College’s South campus.
An Open House was held Thursday to showcase the project's progress. The building is being constructed with prefabricated units produced by Z-Modular, a Zekelman Industries subsidiary company.
The 106,000 square foot structure will house 512 students and is slated to open later this year.
It has been described as one of the most innovative student residences in North America.
“Strictly from the perspective of the unique construction method, in addition to being a residential complex, this is going to prove to be something of an educational site,” said College President Patti France.
“I have no doubt that our faculty and students in such programs as Architectural Technology, Interior Design, Civil and Construction Engineering Technology and several other trades-related fields will be examining the modular construction method for many years to come.”
Up to 90 per cent of the modules are built in the company’s Kitchener factory. They are then transported to St. Clair College and hoisted into place with cranes.
Z-Modular is a subsidiary of Zekelman Industries, which is owned by the College's corporate patrons Barry and Stephanie Zekelman. The Zekelmans have donated $5 million to the college, leading to the naming of the Zekelman School of Business and Information Technology. They have also donated the indoor Tennis facility, which is slated to open later this month at the new Sports Park.
The new GEM residence is being developed by a private-sector company, the Toronto-based Global Education Mihome (GEM) Corporation.