Western is converting parts of Bayfield Hall from an upper-year student apartment into a first-year residence beginning September 2022, in response to continued growth of the incoming first-year class.
The renovation of Bayfield Hall’s south wing, which will begin July 1, will add another 207 beds to Western’s residence system, bringing total residence capacity to 5,790 for fall 2022 and helping Western fulfill its first-year residence guarantee.
“In recent years, we have seen a continued increase in the size of our first-year class, along with continued growth in the number of international students on campus,” said Chris Alleyne, associate vice-president (housing and ancillary services). “This conversion of Bayfield Hall helps ensure we can continue our long-standing commitment to first-year students of a place in residence.”
Each suite in the newly refurbished Bayfield units will be fully furnished with a double-occupancy bedroom, a kitchen, living space and a washroom. By September, first-year students at Bayfield Hall will have access to an upgraded wireless infrastructure, front-desk service, laundry and study spaces. A robust residence life program, residents’ council, residence sophs and live-in staff and manager will also be available with an optional meal plan offered at Saugeen-Maitland Hall.
Over time, the remainder of Bayfield Hall will gradually be converted into first-year spaces. The entire building is expected to be fully operational as a first-year residence by May 31, 2024, bringing Western’s total number of first-year residence buildings to 11. This residence conversion will provide interim capacity to honour the first-year guarantee, while Western works on longer-term plans to expand on-campus housing options for first-year, upper-year and graduate students.
In the summer of 2021, the University converted Lambton Hall, a former upper-year student apartment, into a first-year residence building. That fall, Western welcomed 6,400 first-year students, it’s largest incoming class ever.
Current upper-year tenants living in the affected areas of Bayfield Hall who wish to continue to live on campus will be provided relocation support to assist them with moving to another unit within Bayfield Hall, or to another university apartment building.
No financial penalty will be incurred by affected students who choose to end their lease early as a result of this change. Western’s off-campus housing team will also offer support to help these students search for new housing outside campus.