The first question that comes to mind is where the school should be located. The physical space required approximately 75,000 square feet, not including parking requirements and the usual open areas conducive to a learning environment are major considerations. In addition, this educational institution should be within the downtown area of the City of Greater Sudbury, providing stimulation and diversity.
The option of renovating several buildings and connecting them together is somehow, not so appealing both from the renovation point of view and school operations point of view.
Constructing a new building, allows more flexibility in design, especially in incorporating means for efficient and sustainable energy. This is clearly the more ideal alternative. Choosing a vacant site as oppose to partially or wholly demolishing an existing building, would also be an advantage in terms of budget.
Further observations of the area reveal that in an urban setting like the City of Greater
Sudbury, there are only a few areas that are viable. If certain restrictions can be waived and by using a great deal of creativity, the vacant areas in the rail lands would be an ideal location for the new school.
The proposed site is only within 10 to 15 minutes walk to areas like the Library, the Rainbow
Centre Downtown Mall, the Civic Square/ City Hall, the Sudbury Arena, the Memorial Park, and of course right across Market Square. There are still large amounts of space around the area that can be used for future expansion, being optimistic that the school will prosper and will require expanding. Nearby on the western side are the residential areas that would provide housing possibilities for the students. Visitors can use the Market Square parking lot. Faculty and staff would have parking accessible from Lorne Street. Other services and deliveries would use this access as well.
It is obvious that the school should be facing the city center in terms of accessibility. A lot of students are using public transportation. Elgin and Larch streets are established bus routes.
How then would you overcome the physical barrier the railroad track presents? The solution is to build a pedestrian bridge over the railroad track. Present condition shows people crossing the tracks at Elm Street. The draft building program for the school indicates inclusion of retail areas. Putting up this bridge would be beneficial for both the school and to the general public.
An upgrade of the railroad track area should also be considered. The Canadian railway system has always kept the people connected. People from all over, from east to west could easily come to the school via rail. The student could use the railway system in conducting field trips and site visits further up north, to places that would eventually become their fields of expertise. There is also the prospect of setting up a railway engineering program.
This pedestrian bridge is envisioned to become the new landmark of the city. It is undeniably a lot more pleasing aesthetically. Not only does it serve an important function but it is a symbolic gateway for those who enter to study. It makes an impressive statement from those training and guiding the students and an inspiration for those aspiring leaders in the field of Architecture, Engineering and Technology. The people of Greater Sudbury would be proud to have it represent their goals and ideals. Overall this is an extraordinary but feasible idea.
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