Western is converting Lambton Hall, an upper-year student apartment, into a suite-style residence for first-year students, starting this fall.
The conversion will bring Western’s total number of residences to 10 – ranging from traditional rooms to suites to a hybrid of the two – and will help Western fulfill its guarantee of residence space to all first-year students who want it.
Western’s Senate recently approved the university’s enrolment plan, with the incoming first-year class projected to grow by nearly 300 students compared to pre-pandemic admissions.
“With Western’s residence guarantee to every incoming first-year student arriving directly from high school, this enrolment growth is about equivalent to the new space created at Lambton Hall,” said Chris Alleyne, associate vice-president (housing & ancillary services).
This academic year, when pandemic precautions cut capacity to 70 per cent, Western residences accommodated 3,700 students. Traditional-style residences with two sharing a room had to become single-occupancy, for example.
As the university makes plans to return to face-to-face instruction and more on-campus experiences this fall, COVID-19 protocols may still require capacity limits.
“We’ll need to stay flexible with our capacity strategy, so adding Lambton Hall as an option for first-year students provides much-needed space,” Alleyne said.
Current upper-year tenants living in Lambton Hall apartments have leases that expire this summer. They will be offered priority at other university-owned apartment buildings where spaces are available. “We are providing timely, personalized guidance and support for current Lambton tenants as they transition to alternate housing on campus or off campus,” Alleyne said.
For upper-year students, Western offers approximately 400 one- and two-bedroom apartment units at nearby Bayfield, Beaver and Ausable halls and 374 units at Platt’s Lane Estates, a community of two- and three-bedroom townhomes and one- and two-bedroom walk-up apartments.
Renovations to Lambton Hall are set to take place this summer. Each suite will be fully furnished and accommodate two students, with a kitchen, living space, two single-occupancy bedrooms (with double beds) and one washroom.
Amenities offered in other residences will also be available at Lambton Hall, including front-desk services, floor lounges and rooms for laundry, workouts, studying and music practice.
A robust residence life program, residents’ council, residence sophs and live-in staff and manager will also be available. An optional meal plan will be offered at neighbouring Saugeen-Maitland Hall.