Brainstorming improvements for Fountain Campus
September 22, 2014

Friday, September 19th marked the first of two consultation sessions regarding improvements to the NSCAD’s Fountain Campus. NSCAD students, faculty and staff joined NSCAD President Dianne Taylor-Gearing to discuss how the $3 million dollar gift, given by Margaret and David Fountain, will be spent.

“It's a time to listen and learn,” said Professor Taylor-Gearing.  “These changes must be managed effectively ... this is a first step and a first gift.”

The overall goal of the donation is to enhance the student experience at the Fountain Campus by providing modern, relevant student spaces. At its meeting in July, the Board of Governors resolved to remain and invest at this campus for at least eight years.

Professor Taylor-Gearing assured the assembled students, faculty and staff that no plans have been put into action beyond essential maintenance work, which will  include:

•    building and fire code upgrades (the roof, fire doors)

•    improved exterior signage to recognize the donor

•    exterior work  - painting facades, new windows

•    energy efficiency  (tighten up boilers, better ventilation)

Other ideas up for discussion included:

•    A learning commons and social space located in the library, making the spaces flexible to serve a myriad of purposes, including small group meetings, prayer groups, sick rooms and large gatherings

  • A new entrance way that would provide a more prominent and nice “front door” for the university
  • Anna Leonowens Gallery updates
  • Display cases for student artwork throughout the campus
  • Updated bathrooms for better maintenance and cleanliness
  • Maximizing rental spaces with tenants that complement the university.

The consensus was that money should be used toward making NSCAD visible, accessible, safe and secure for all who enter.  As well, changes should reflect the creativity and community of NSCAD.

There was also discussion among the group on way-finding within the university. A color coding system, improved maps and an app were some of the suggestions raised that would make the campus more navigable.

An improved front entrance should be more inviting and easy to locate. Inside, display cases filled with student work were suggested. Likewise, the interior courtyard should be spruced up and made more of a showpiece, as it was in the past.

Washrooms were a source of irritation and embarrassment for participants. Renovated bathrooms should be easy to clean and maintain.

Heating and cooling of the buildings were also issues. Uneven heat in areas of the buildings means some places are too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter. Improved ventilation should address some of those issues, said Sharon Johnson-Legere, VP Finance and Administration.

Retail spaces were discussed. One suggestion was to rent space to new grads as a transitional studio space, and an accelerator space. Seeing artists at work was acknowledged as a good way to show off what NSCAD does and add to making Granville Mall a community destination.

A second consultation session is scheduled for Monday, September 22, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in D500 (Boardroom).

All ideas raised will be considered by the Academic Resource Committee, which includes faculty and student representatives, and is chaired by the new dean, Dr. Ann-Barbara Graff.  Ideas will provide the basis for the design brief, which will be framed in October. The aim is to have improvements planned and completed by the time students arrive for the fall 2015 academic term.

Do you have a suggestion for an improvement at the Fountain Campus? Please send your ideas to