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UWindsor reveals its vision for a downtown campus

View plans to renovate, expand three key heritage buildings - former bus depot, Armouries and newspaper building - for the university's arts and social work students

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In a bold move, the University of Windsor plans to expand its campus to the city’s downtown. This map shows the existing campus and the downtown in relation to the Detroit River waterfront. Work will begin this summer on a $70-million downtown campus – crafted from heritage properties.

CS&P Architects Inc.

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Craig Goodman is a principal of CS&P Architects in Toronto, whose firm has been given the job of repurposing and adding onto existing downtown heritage buildings. A former bus depot, seen here in a historic display, will be renovated for the University of Windsor’s use by the fall of 2014.

Jennifer Lewington/The Globe and Mail

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In 2012, the city sold two landmark properties on University Avenue to UWindsor for $2. The former Greyhound station, seen here in its art-deco glory in the 1930s, will become the new home for the university’s film production program. A large one-storey addition will be added behind it, replacing the loading bays.

CS&P Architects Inc.

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On the opposite side of the street, the vaulted Armouries building, which dates back to 1902, will be renovated to house the schools of Music and Visual Arts. A new 140-seat recital hall will be added at one end.

Jennifer Lewington/The Globe and Mail

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A five-minute walk away, the former 1920s-era Windsor Star building will be gutted and expanded to become the future home of the School of Social Work and the Centre for Executive and Professional Education.

Jennifer Lewington/The Globe and Mail

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The current cladding on the bus terminal will be removed to reveal the original limestone surface and black granite base. The 1930s vertical sign and entry canopy will be restored at the front of the building. Updated signage will reflect the building’s new use as studio space.

Jennifer Lewington/The Globe and Mail

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The Chatham Street Parkette will also be worked into the project to connect the revamped arts-related programming buildings to a public green space. A small amphitheatre will be added for outdoor performances.

Jennifer Lewington/The Globe and Mail

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A view of the front of the Armouries, upper middle, and the loading area behind the former bus depot. The project to reinvigorate the downtown core with postsecondary students is being funded by the City of Windsor, the university and the province of Ontario.

CS&P Architects Inc.

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The former Armouries drill hall will be reconfigured to include gallery space, a mezzanine floor, informal meeting areas and classrooms. ‘Our first concern was how to make use of the drill hall without wrecking it,’ architect Mr. Goodman says. ‘The [university] program needed a lot more square footage than what was offered in the building. The solution was that we added new space, going down below the ground floor to add a basement level.’ Built into one wall, former ammunition storage vaults will get a new use as soundproof practice studios for music students.

CS&P Architects Inc.

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An architect’s aerial sketch of the existing heritage elements at the Windsor Armouries and bus depot site.

CS&P Architects Inc.

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The same view with the proposed additions. The repurposed buildings combined will offer 77,000 square feet for 700 students. Included will be classrooms, student study lounges, a multimedia film hub, music practice studios and 140-seat performance hall. There will also be room for painting, drawing and sculpture studios, digital arts and photography rooms and art gallery.

CS&P Architects Inc.

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This architect’s rendering shows the expanded former Windsor Star building, with its new roof terrace. The 64,000-square-foot building will be home to 800 students.

CS&P Architects Inc.

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A street-side view of the completed Armouries-bus depot project along Freedom Way.

CS&P Architects Inc.

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An aerial view of the transformed Armouries, former Greyhound building and the Chatham Street Parkette. ‘This is creating a huge opportunity for a refreshed view of what Windsor could be, and the university is going to play a huge part in that,’ Mr. Goodman says.

CS&P Architects Inc.

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