U of S officially opens doors to Graduate House student residence

The Honorable Rob Norris, Minister of Advanced Education, takes part in a tour of the new space.

The Honorable Rob Norris, Minister of Advanced Education, takes part in a tour of the new space.

The University of Saskatchewan officially opened the third and final stage of its College Quarter residence development today. Designed and built specifically for graduate students, the new Graduate House residence has capacity for 262 students, increasing the total number of new beds on campus by more than 1,000 in the past three years.

“This is an important project for the university and, with the support of our partners and lead donors Russell and Katherine Morrison, we are pleased to see it officially open its doors,” said U of S President Ilene Busch-Vishniac. “This building provides a greater variety of available housing options on campus, something our students have long been asking for.”

Graduate students were consulted during the original design phase of the building and many of the final design elements were a result of that feedback.

“A residence dedicated specifically to graduate students allows us to better develop programs that enhance the students’ living experience in all of our residences,” said George Foufas, associate director, Consumer Services. “As you can imagine, the needs and wants for student housing can vary greatly between those of a first or second-year undergraduate student and a graduate student.  We wanted to develop a space that was reflective of those needs.”

Students in Graduate House can choose from studio apartments, one-bedroom suites or two-bedroom shared accommodation in six different dwelling types including multi-story and lofts.  All suites are apartment-style with private kitchens and bathrooms and the building has on-site laundry. The building also features a common area with WiFi-equipped, communal study and social spaces on each floor and a music room, athletic space and classroom.

Stantec provided the initial architecture design, which emphasizes the common space of social and study lounges to encourage interaction between graduate students in different disciplines. Construction of the nearly $39-million residence and surrounding green-way was completed by Graham Construction.

The development of a graduate student-specific residence was supported by a $6.5-million donation from alumnus Dr. Russell Morrison and his wife, Dr. Katherine Morrison. Additional funding for the residence project was provided through grant money made available by the City of Saskatoon’s Innovative Housing Incentive Program.

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