A Renewed Space for Community: Introducing University Commons

The Dentistry/Pharmacy Centre is officially renamed University Commons.


GEC Architecture / Michael Wach

For almost a century, the University of Alberta community has gathered around one of the most central buildings on North Campus to work, celebrate major achievements like convocation, and on the chilliest of days, to escape a cool walk outdoors. As the building prepares to start its next chapter, it will do so with a name that reflects what it’s always been - a place for community to come together. That’s why I’m pleased to announce that after a series of consultations and discussions, the Dentistry/Pharmacy Centre will now be known as University Commons. 

As the name suggests, a commons is a gathering place where people feel welcome and a sense of belonging; a commons is also a space that invites and creates opportunities for the exchange of ideas and knowledge. University Commons will offer exactly that, a crossroads for academic and student services in our community—a gathering and learning place for everyone. Blending our campus history with the future, the building’s 1922 brick façade leads to a meeting place in a modern, new seven-story North Wing. 

Student service hub and academic space

University Commons will serve as an important student services hub, with welcoming spaces for gathering, events, and ceremonies. The centrally located building will also house a number of academic and administrative activities, helping us reduce the burden of our deferred maintenance on campus. Students, faculty and staff from across our university will enjoy dynamic and collaborative teaching and meeting spaces which will be available and bookable by all faculties and departments. Planning for academic and administrative occupants is starting to take shape, and I will be sharing those details with you soon.

Watercolour credit: GEC Architecture / Michael McCann

Stepping forward

University Commons is scheduled to open its doors in 2024 as a place to support the mission of our university and give our campus community a space for innovation and collaboration. This iconic structure is blending old with new to create a bright, modern, dynamic space for learning, teaching and research. 

It will be a place that belongs to everyone, a front door that welcomes all. 

Andrew Sharman
Vice-president (Facilities & Operations)

This $250M capital renewal of University Commons plays a key role in the university’s integrated asset management strategy, and has been well underway for over two years, with a focus on restoring and recognizing our history while bringing new life to the building.

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