Following the demolition of the remaining sections of the North Building last March, construction is currently underway for North Building Phase B—a six-storey facility that will usher in the completion of construction.

North Building Phase A, known as Deerfield Hall, was the first of two reconstruction phases of the original North Building. Opened in September 2014, it has since provided students and faculty of the mathematical and computational sciences, psychology, and English and drama departments with four-storeys worth of classrooms, computer labs, study spaces, food services, and a theatre rehearsal area.

The 210,000 square-foot North Building Phase B will house new classrooms and administrative offices. It will be the new home for the departments of English and drama, language studies, historical studies, philosophy, political science, and sociology.

The new building will serve as an aesthetic segue between Deerfield Hall and the Instructional Building, said Paul Donoghue, UTM’s chief administrative officer, in an interview with The Medium.

Funding, according to Donoghue, comes from the Governing Council. Donoghue also cited a number of “generous” investments on behalf of the government and U of T administration.

The original North Building was implemented in 1967 as a “temporary structure” and was meant to accommodate the needs of faculty and students. Efforts to further refurbish the building would have exceeded the project’s budget.

“We looked at the possibility of renovating the North Building, but it was just a sinkhole for money,” said Donoghue. “The whole thing had to come down.”

Donoghue was one of several stakeholders involved in the planning, capital construction, and financial management of Phase B. He said that continuing to develop UTM’s architecture is essential to catering to students’ success and level of motivation.

“We take design very importantly. For us, a project of this magnitude is not a superficial exercise in order to have a pretty building,” Donoghue said. “It’s about designing a building that suits its purpose for the people who use it, because a well-designed building can make a complete difference in the way students feel and in their behaviours.”

Upon completion, the North B building will attain a Silver LEED status—a certification of its energy-efficient infrastructure, and an increasingly common hallmark of UTM building projects.

As for naming the building, Donoghue acknowledges that Phase B will be in need of a new title. “It’s only temporary,” he said. “We had a contest where students had the chance to suggest names for Deerfield Hall when it was constructed. We may just end up doing the same with this. Stay tuned.”

The doors to North Building Phase B will officially open on August 16, 2018.

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