McMaster Housing and Conference Services recently announced its proposal to redevelop Bates residence.

According to Kevin Beatty, the director of Housing and Conference Services, all of the internal aspects of Bates residence, such as room configurations, common rooms and amenities, will be redeveloped. Students can look forward to enjoying increased natural light and improved amenities, such as a games room, gym and music room.

“Adding expansive exterior windows and removing large sections of the ground and second floor plate will infuse the building with natural light and activate the basement level while celebrating the beautiful views surrounding,” said Chelsea Alexander, one of the architects of the project.

Nevertheless, Bates Residence’s structural foundation will remain.

“We are eager to create a harmonized Bates residence community, full of opportunities for social interaction, enjoyment and educational advancement within an extensive 1970s shell,” said Alexander.

The redevelopment project is in the design phase. Although the final construction timeline has yet to be solidified, Beatty has confirmed that the redevelopment will not begin until after the Peter George Centre for Living and Learning opens in Aug. 2019.

Students with an average of 83.5 per cent or higher are guaranteed a place in residence on campus. After securing a spot in residence, students are entered into a lottery that determines what room style they get placed in.

Since Bates is currently the only apartment style residence on campus, closing it during the construction phase may have repercussions for students. It is unclear how the renovations will affect the number of residence spots available to students.

“Housing and Conference Services is committed to continuing to keep students and the university community updated when more details are finalized over the next few months,” said Beatty.

According to Alexander, the Bates residence redevelopment will solve the current building’s most pressing accessibility problems.

In particular, the new building is slated to improve navigation through washroom facilities, doorways and narrow corridors. The new Bates building will also be AODA compliant, consisting of improvements such as accessible suites and auto-door operators.

“Accessibility to all building amenities and spaces have been of critical importance since the onset of the redevelopment discussions,” said Alexander.

Students can share their feedback on the McMaster Housing and Conference Services website until Feb. 12.

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