REGINA — What started as an accessibility project a year ago morphed into a $4.2 million renovation and upgrade for the 60-year-old Campion College building on the University of Regina campus. There’s a new entrance on the north side, which includes a fire-safe staircase to all four floors encased in glass, and a tunnel connecting Campion to the new residences on the north side. There’s an accessibility lift from the tunnel to the main floor. The Interior boasts an elevator that can accommodate two wheelchairs, a new hallway which is to become a display area for Alumni of Distinction recipients, and a larger space for the second-floor library with a new office for the librarian.
“The goal was to have a barriers-free building, and certain needs were identified by a student with disabilities. The biggest need identified was the elevator. It was too small, too old, and couldn’t accommodate them,” said Dr. John Meehan, SJ, president of the college.
“The Saskatchewan government contributed $863,000 to the project; donors and monies that had been set aside for the project contributed the remainder,” said James Gustafson, executive director of Administration and Finance. The $50,000 cost of the accessibility lift in the tunnel was paid for by the South Saskatchewan Chapter of the Knights of Columbus.
The glass-encased stairwell is the most striking feature of the new entrance. “It’s a curtain wall,” said Ken Yanko, director of Facilities and Operations. “The glass is thermal pane and is a fire-rated stairwell to about 1.5 hours. In the case of a fire, it can be used as a safe assembly and exit space. Firefighters can also use it to access all floors.”
The Alumni of Distinction hallway was created by opening a space from the corridor that runs east-west the length of Campion, connecting to Luther College on the east side. That corridor will soon contain electronic information screens. There have also been upgrades to make the building more fire safe, including a new sprinkler system. The floors of the stair landings have a separate covering, indicating a height change for sight-challenged students.
The completion of the project signals the beginning of year-long centennial celebrations acknowledging Campion’s and the Jesuit community’s contributions to education and to the community.
Campion College High School began in 1917 in a three-storey house across the street from Holy Rosary Cathedral. The house is still there. The college moved to a new building south of the Saskatchewan Legislative Building in the mid-1920s. The current building was constructed in 1966, and became an undergraduate degree college, one of only 120 Jesuit post-secondary colleges in the world and the only one in Canada.