Bennett Centre poised for reconfiguration and improvement


Construction is expected to begin soon in the Bennett Centre for Student Services. The project will see the reconfiguration and enhancement of the lobby area, the waiting area for Student Client Services, the entrance and exits.

Conceptual drawing of what the Bennett Centre will look like once renovations are completed.
Bennett centre artist’s rendering showing the refreshed reception area

The changes include: adding a welcome centre space for recruitment; repurposing the circular reception desk and replacing it with one that is smaller and more functional; ensuring that a warm, constant temperature is maintained; and improving ‘way finding’ – that is, how visitors can effectively reach their intended destinations on campus. Renovations will be confined solely to the first floor of the Bennett Centre and the construction is not expected to interfere with the centre’s day-to-day operations.

Set to be called the “Discover York Campus Visit and Tour Centre”, the new welcome space will provide a friendly, inviting environment to encourage conversation and make a positive first impression when prospective students and their families come to York to apply for admission, attend events or take a tour.

“One of the main goals [of the project] is to provide a welcoming space for students who are interested in learning more about York,” says Amber Holliday, manager, Canadian Recruitment and Events. “For the most part it’s geared towards prospective students and their families, and a space where we can hold information sessions and gather our tours.” She notes that current students also stand to benefit from the new configuration, which will help them access University resources and find their way through campus.

At the same time, “Student Client Services” will be renamed “Registrarial Services” in the interest of providing more clarity for current students.

The waiting area will undergo a series of improvements, including the application of a new coat of paint, the installation of a permanent front desk (repurposed from the reception area) and the addition of clearer signs for efficient way finding.

All of these changes will benefit students, both future and current, and make it easier for staff to navigate the first floor. Construction is expected to take place in two phases and finish by the end of July 2014.

The Bennett Centre for Student Services houses a variety of services within the Division of Students, all dedicated to delivering high-quality service to undergraduate and graduate students.

Submitted by Maya Sokolovski, a student writer in the Division of Students

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