More Construction on Campus

$14 Million Project to Reclad GM Begins in March

The GM will be reclad to look like the EV and MB Buildings. Photo Riley Sparks

Two Concordia buildings will undergo intensive repairs this spring.

A $14 million project to reclad the university’s GM Building will begin this March and likely last until the end of 2011.

Renovations on the western wall of the Faubourg Tower are also slated for March and will last until November.

“The GM Building is almost 50 years old and it isn’t very energy efficient,” said Peter Bolla, the Associate VP of Facilities Management at Concordia. “The windows are single pane and it gets cold in the winter.”

The 46-year-old GM Building will have its walls completely torn down and replaced with glass and steel to resemble the adjacent EV and MB buildings.

“The building badly needed repairs [and] we wanted to make it fit in with the modern looking buildings on campus,” said Concordia spokesperson Chris Mota.

Beyond esthetic renovations, the GM’s elevator cabins and heating system will be replaced. The building’s lobby will also be expanded to include a waiting area.

Decarel, a general contracting firm that built a $705 million expansion to Montreal’s Trudeau International Airport, will be undertaking the GM project.

The company has already met with the university twice to determine how to undertake the project while minimizing disturbances caused by construction. Decarel will begin work on the GM’s south and east walls in March.

“The north and west walls will cause complications,” said Jean Pelland, Concordia’s director of projects. “The south and east should be easier so we’ll begin there.”

Meanwhile, at the foot of the Faubourg Tower, netting is being installed as a precautionary measure in the lead up to the replacement of the bricks on the building’s western wall. According to Bolla some of the brickwork on the Faubourg Tower, which was built in the 1980s, is eroding but is “not a cause for concern.”

“Some buildings age better than others and the Faubourg hasn’t aged very well,” said Bolla.

The university is consulting with an engineer and conducting quality control tests to determine a budget and method for replacing the bricks.

“We might not even be replacing the bricks with bricks,” said Pelland. “We’re looking into other materials.”