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Home About SAIT News & Events Phase one done

Phase one done

John Ware building envelope replacement nears completion as construction starts on phase two

John Ware building envelope replacement nears completion as construction starts on phase two

Trees are in and fencing is coming down in places, but construction crews working on the John Ware building aren't packing up their tools yet.

While the first phase of upgrades to one of SAIT's longest-standing buildings is nearly complete, the next stage means construction is set to continue over the next several months — this time inside the building. 

"It probably looked like we've already been doing renovations, but the first phase was to replace the building envelope," says Aaron Warne, Campus Development Senior Project Manager. "Now, with that envelope protecting the John Ware building from the outside elements, we can focus on the interior, upgrading mechanical and electrical systems to make it an even more efficient and modern space for students and employees."

Constructing the new building envelope — which provides a physical barrier between the building and exterior conditions, including rain, snow and heat - was done with financial assistance from the federal government through the Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund (SIF). In recognition of Canada's aging infrastructure at post-secondary schools, the government provided $2 billion for projects that would modernize research and industry-relevant training facilities at institutions such as SAIT. 

SAIT received more than $20.7 million in funding that Campus Development has used to upgrade the envelope and utility infrastructures in both the John Ware and Senator Burns buildings. 

Much of the SIF funding-related work for the Senator Burns building is also now complete. Among the upgrades was installing sprinkler heads throughout the building — a safety mechanism the building didn't already have.

"Every room and space on every floor will have sprinklers — we've installed thousands," says Warne. "It has been a large project but now employees and students will be even better protected should something happen."

Demolition, the first stage of the interior renovations in the west block of the John Ware building, has already begun. Ultimately, crews will upgrade the mechanical and electrical systems, as well as renovate some of the centrally located bathrooms.

Warne says the project is expected to take about six months and there will be some selective electrical shut-downs as required.

"These will be scheduled for times when there are no classes — overnight or on weekends and holidays — and Facilities Management will notify stakeholders well in advance before these happen," says Warne.

Along with a modern new exterior for the building, the upgrades will increase sustainability for the John Ware, decreasing emissions and operation costs.

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