King celebrates grand opening of Magna Hall
New academic and athletic building enhances student life
The grand opening of Magna Hall at King Campus took place on Thursday, Sept. 27. The celebration saw about 200 students, employees, alumni and special guests gather in the new Event Space, many filling up the bleacher seats.
Just because Brianna Bader is graduating from Practical Nursing this month, and is already enrolled in the Firefighter, Pre-Service Education & Training program at Newnham Campus, it doesn’t mean she won’t be hanging around the brand spanking new Magna Hall at King Campus anymore.
On the contrary, “I’ll be coming here every opportunity I get,” Bader said.
Magna Hall, a 200,000-square-foot academic and athletic building, officially opened on Thursday, Sept. 27. It features 25 classrooms, computer labs, specialty labs, a library, and a student centre with multi-purpose athletic and recreation space.
“Nothing helps clear the brain better than exercise and Magna Hall is going to change student life at King,” said Bader, a varsity athlete and President of Seneca’s Student Athletic Association (SAA).
Magna Hall by the numbers
- 25 classrooms
- $99.2 million total project cost
- 450 new parking spaces
- 1,450 more students
- 200,000 sq. ft.
“Students can attend more fitness activities between classes. This will help us reach our full potential physical and mental wellness.”
Instead of “two hoops people crowded around,” as described by Bader, students can now enjoy a double gymnasium, a fitness facility, a dance studio and an indoor rock climbing wall.
In the words of President David Agnew, “LA Fitness would die for that.”
Emma Mortin, second-year Veterinary Technician student, tests out the indoor rock climbing wall at Magna Hall during the grand opening.
Designed by Montgomery Sisam Architects and MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects, Magna Hall has the capacity to welcome 1,450 more students annually, increasing the population of full-time students at King to more than 5,000.
The $99.2-million project was made possible through funding from the Ontario government, the Seneca Student Federation and the SAA. It’s built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold standards and named after Magna International in recognition of its $3-million contribution toward Seneca’s Campaign for King Campus.
With the main entrance of Magna Hall facing the main entrance of Garriock Hall, which opened in 1977, “We are talking Volkswagen to Maserati,” President Agnew alluded to the two buildings before about 200 people in attendance, including “a phone book of VIPs.”
King Mayor Steve Pellegrini, one of the dignitaries, called the grand opening of Magna Hall “a great, proud day” in his township.
Magna Hall is built to LEED Gold standards.
“The building is great, but it’s the students, faculty and the administration that make this a great facility, a great college,” Pellegrini said.
For the last three years, one particular group of employees has been working diligently to ensure Magna Hall meets the target date and stays on budget. Angelo Miranda, Director, Major Capital Projects, and his team had to work through numerous issues, including last year’s bad weather and unfavourable site conditions.
While it was a “very challenging” project, Miranda said his team met every single target they set out in the beginning.
“We are very proud of this building,” he said. “It’s a state-of-the-art facility with state-of-the-art equipment. It’s a very sustainable campus and there are a lot of elements to it that students and employees can really enjoy.”
Seneca's Major Capital Projects team, from left: Christina Koutsaris, Angelo Miranda, Evelyn Follett, Scott Stronghill and Hooman Aboutalebi-Pour.