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Wallace McCain Learning Commons opens


Dalhousie’s newest addition opened Thursday as crowds gathered to listen to university president Richard Florizone give the commencement speech for the Wallace McCain Learning Commons.

“I’m going to be excited to come in the weeks ahead to see how the students move all the furniture around and how they take ownership of the space,” Florizone joked in the beginning of his speech.

The speech lasted a little less than thirty minutes and consisted mostly of Dr. Florizone, among others, thanking the contributor to this project, Dr. Margaret McCain.

McCain, along with her late husband Wallace, donated over six million dollars, making this project possible.

The McCains have contributed greatly to universities around Atlantic Canada and are well known throughout the Dalhousie Campus, most notably for the McCain Arts and Social Sciences building, Florizone said.

Before inviting Dr. McCain up to the podium to receive a framed photograph of the Commons, he thanked the leaders in charge of the project, including Harvey Architecture and the lead architect of the project, Richard White.

“The attendance today shows the passion and impact of the project,” President Florizone said.

McCain believes classroom learning is only “one small part of the university experience” but where spaces like these are “where the real education begins.” She said she wants students to utilize the new space, and get the fullest out of education and life.

On the outside, the building has a shiny copper façade. On top, it has a green roof that President Florizone says will be a patio for students to lounge about atop the building.

Along with the green roof, the building is lit completely by LED lights, it has an extremely efficient heating and cooling system, and skylights that make this building a LEED Gold candidate.

(Photo by Amin Helal)
(Photo by Amin Helal)















The building has been under construction for over a year, beginning in June 2014 and finishing just recently, in October 2015.

The building is located at the end of Lord Dalhousie Drive, near the Chase building and is an extension of the LSC.

With itss eye-catching copper exterior, the Learning Commons attracts students not only in computer science, but students who want a study space.

According to Antony Raphy, a Learning Commons Student Navigator, the new building features 15 study rooms, two computer labs with 15 computers each, and a larger quiet study space with comfy chairs and art decorating the walls.

The building’s main purpose is a new home for Computer Science students in IT, but it is not limited to just Computer Science students.

Students were present at the meeting, as well as other staff and faculty.

Paolma Lemke is a double major in biology and chemistry and plans on spending time in the new Learning Commons.

She says she usually spends time in the Student Union Building, but she will be coming to the learning commons often now, because of renovations to the SUB.


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