Construction is set to begin on a new residence facility with additional learning spaces to help accommodate Redeemer’s enrolment growth. In 2019, Redeemer restructured tuition and fees, lowering tuition by as much as 42 per cent as part of a plan to grow enrolment and put Christian university education within reach for many more students. Since then, enrolment has increased from approximately 690 students two years ago to nearly 900 this fall.
The makeup and location of the building, a key tactic of Learn. Forward. Redeemer’s 2025 Strategic Plan, flows directly out of Redeemer’s mission to provide an education that integrates faith and encompasses all of life and learning. The university’s unique, communal residence experience enhances students’ educational development by shaping them spiritually, emotionally and interpersonally. The new facility will have 170 beds in two-, four-, six-, and eight-student units, each with kitchens and common space where students will share meals and foster relationships with each other. There will also be classrooms and breakout rooms on the lower level, another need driven by growth, making the new building a true live and learn project.
“In making plans with the architect, it was important to look at the bigger picture for the future of Redeemer’s campus,” said President Dr. Robert J. Graham. “The placement of the new building was chosen to facilitate the kind of campus experience we envisioned, one that would support and enhance a residential, Christian university education.”
The new residence with learning space will be situated northwest of, and close to, the academic building and the first set of townhouse residences, helping to make campus more walkable and bike-friendly. This strategic placement is part of a larger vision that includes a new entrance into campus from Garner Road, east of the academic building and new parking and paving to help direct vehicle traffic away from expanded pedestrian walkways, making the heart of campus a more inviting place for students to gather.
The vision for Redeemer’s future has excited a group of donors who have pledged $14 million towards the $18.5 million building project. In addition to being a key feature of the Redeemer experience, housing generates income and so these generous donations offset the cost of the investment, which allows the revenue from the building to support Redeemer’s mission and operating budget.
Redeemer has selected Schilthuis Construction from Caledonia to construct the new building. Schilthuis Construction is an award-winning general contractor in operation since 1952 and has experience with many comparable projects including multi-unit residential buildings, churches and schools.
Completion of the project is scheduled for fall 2021, just in time for the incoming class. Redeemer will celebrate the groundbreaking of the new building on October 1 with a small in-person ceremony that will also be streamed for those who wish to participate virtually. Visit redeemer.ca/construction for construction updates.