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New Student Athletic and Recreation Centre Promotes Wellness

Offering a variety of health, wellness and social activities, the new ARC building will increase interest and engagement in Algonquin College’s Ottawa campus. It includes two gymnasiums, a running track, lounge, bowling lanes, climbing / bouldering wall, and aerobic and strength conditioning areas.


Algonquin College


Ottawa, ON

Promoting health ownership

Established in 1967, the Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology (Algonquin College) was named after the First Nations Peoples who first inhabited the Ottawa Valley. A leader in post-secondary education, Algonquin College offers a variety of part-time, full-time and apprenticeship programs across its three Ontario campuses.

In recent years, Algonquin College has seen a rise in program enrollment. To support the college’s growth and offer students additional physical and social programming, the Algonquin Students’ Association launched an initiative to fund and develop a 100,000 sq. ft. Athletics and Recreation Centre (ARC) to replace the existing fitness facilities on its Ottawa campus.

The ARC project is centered around encouraging students to take personal ownership of their mental and physical health. Located across from campus residences and connected to the main academic buildings via an elevated, enclosed pedestrian link, the ARC is easily accessible to all students. With top of the line amenities including a golf simulator, lounge, two-level walking / running track, bowling alley, billiard tables, rock-climbing wall, two gymnasiums for varsity sports, fitness zones and more, the ARC houses engaging spaces for all interests and activity levels. Beyond health and fitness, the facility also serves as a social hub that promotes connectivity among students.

A joint agreement

Engaged as part of an existing five-year standing offer, our team provided full project management services for the planning, design, construction and warranty phases of the ARC project.

As the facility is located on Algonquin College property, the Students’ Association entered into agreements with the college to move forward with the new development. Using a construction management (CM) approach, our team was able to help increase the ARC’s building size by nearly 25 percent, while staying within the increased budget. We achieved this by tailoring the CM approach specifically to the project and keeping a close eye on trade markets to keep costs down. Our team was also able to use the one-month halt in construction caused by COVID-19 restrictions to tender, progress the design, and manage constructability issues. This proactive, phased approach kept construction within seasonal construction windows – allowing allocation of more funds to the ARC building itself, rather than to winter construction premiums.

As the project evolved, the scope of work expanded to incorporate the new enclosed footbridge and surrounding enabling works – which included roadwork, the addition of sidewalks, exterior lighting and landscaping.

Supporting student success

ith the main building complete in August 2021, the college announced that the ARC building would be named after the Student Association’s General Manager and CEO Jack Doyle, for his years of leadership, service and commitment to student success.

The Jack Doyle Athletics and Recreation Centre, its pedestrian link and surrounding infrastructure softly opened in Fall 2021. After working with Algonquin College for over 20 years, Colliers Project Leaders is proud to support the college and Students’ Association on this endeavour and looks forward to celebrating its formal opening.

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