Prominent business school HEC Montreal has started construction on a major new building in Montreal’s downtown.
The affiliate of the University of Montreal plans to spend $235 million on the new 24,000 square-metre (approximately 260,000 sq. ft.) facility on the corner of Rue de la Gauchetière and Beaver Hall Hill, next to St. Patrick’s Basilica.
School and government officials broke ground at the construction site Oct. 16, marking the start of what’s expected to be about three years of work.
HEC Montreal said the new building, which will include 27 classrooms, a 300-seat auditorium and a conference centre, will help it address a “serious shortage” of space at the school’s current campuses. The location in the city’s business district also aims to strengthen the school’s ties to the business community.
The project will reconfigure the block, however, requiring the demolition of several low-rise buildings and a small above-ground parking lot. Excavation and piling work is already underway and demolition began earlier this month. The new building will stand next to the gothic revival church built in the mid-1800s.Montreal-based Magil Construction will take the lead on the project as the general contractor while WSP Canada Inc. will serve as a project manager. Provencher Roy Associés Architectes Inc. took care of design for the building, which slopes down a relatively steep section Beaver Hall Hill toward Rue de la Gauchetière. The plans preserve large sections of the green space currently surrounding St. Patrick’s.
Among other benchmarks, HEC Montreal is aiming for a LEED Gold certification on the project. At least 30 geothermal wells, several green roofs and electric vehicle charging stations are included in the design.
Quebec is picking up nearly half of the project costs, while HEC Montreal and the school’s foundation will spend $87.4 million and $39.3 million, respectively.
The building is scheduled to open in spring 2022.