If you’ve driven or walked past Huron and Lambton lately, you might have noticed the under-construction FIMS and Nursing building (FNB) sticking out like a sore thumb.
Since early February 2015, the FNB has slowly come to life and is now nearing completion with only a few minor touches left.
“We’re just in the phase of just finishing up little things,” said Jeff Jones, FNB project manager. “Things like finishes, millwork, deficiencies, commissioning of the building, making sure all of the systems are fully functional and making sure the lighting is programmed to operate the way it’s intended.”
Jones said that the building will be up and running by Jan. 1, 2017 and general use classrooms will be available for booking by early September 2017.
While there’s still a month left before it's up and running, The Gazette got a sneak peak of the building and here’s what you can expect.
Currently, professors are in the process of moving to their new offices in the FNB. Many profs are being sent home to work as their old offices get taken apart and set up in the new rooms. Administration from both FIMS and Nursing decide who get the offices, but FIMS chose an age-old method in making those decisions.
"In the FIMS case they did a lottery system," Jones said. "They basically said, 'Here are all of the faculty offices, draw and get your first picks."
Jones said that once the building is up and running, students will be happy to see the many open areas with lots of natural light and that each area will include several outlets.
"Wherever there's a bench, there's usually power," Jones said.
The FNB will also include co-ed bathrooms with individual stalls and shared sinks and mirrors. Unique in its design, Jones thought it would to be interesting to see how students will react to these new washrooms.
More than anything, the building makes use of its multiple windows that allow for natural light to flood the interior. In a previous interview with The Gazette, Tom Tillman, principal architect at London firm Architects Tillman Ruth Robinson, said that the inclusion of natural light was one major concept in designing the building.
On the outside, the four storey building showcases straight lines and sharp corners giving it a modern, minimalist look. However, much like the Arts and Humanities building, as well as many other buildings across campus, the FNB also includes hints of the collegiate gothic architectural style that is so characteristic of Western.
In the main entrance of the building, towards the back and on the sides of two walls leading to different corridors, there are gargoyles taken from the old Western Service Building, a sort of "homage to Western's classic style," according to Jones.