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Construction Timeline

April 2015 – McCain Centre set to welcome new tenants

The new McCain Centre is set to open at the end of May 2015. The tenants have had an opportunity to tour the building and a tenant FAQ is available. For more details, visit the 'Updates' tab below.

About Content


Mount Saint Vincent University is working to construct the new Margaret Norrie McCain Centre for Teaching, Learning and Research (McCain Centre). The McCain Centre, located near the E. Margaret Fulton Communications Centre (housing the library), will be the first classroom facility to be built at the Mount in over 40 years. In addition, this new centre will link the upper and lower campuses of the Mount. A pedway from the McCain Centre will allow for direct access to the Rosaria Student Centre and the RBC West Link connects the McCain Centre with the E. Margaret Fulton Communications Centre.

The new McCain Centre is set to open at the end of May 2015. This page is aimed to provide information, updates and helpful links to members of the Mount community as our campus undergoes a number of changes in the coming months.

About the McCain Centre

The McCain Centre is a clear demonstration of the Mount’s commitment to providing students with the best learning experience, in the best learning environment. The four-floor, 49,600 square foot and environmentally-conscious McCain Centre will make possible a learning environment that is contemporary, technology-rich and interactive.

The McCain Centre is also a demonstration of the Mount’s commitment to honouring the lives and stories of women from all walks of life. This will be the only building on a Canadian campus dedicated to celebrating and honouring women. Read more about ProjectTWENTY12. Features of the McCain Centre include:

  • Inspiring Women installation
  • Riva Spatz Women’s Wall of Honour
  • Alexa McDonough Institute for Women, Gender and Social Justice
  • Dr. Rosemarie Sampson Centre on Aging
  • Centre for Women in Business
  • Co-Operative Education Centre
  • Teaching and Learning Centre
  • Department of Communication Studies (including Public Relations)
  • Department of Business Administration & Tourism and Hospitality Management
  • Department of Women’s Studies (including Nancy’s Chair)
  • Classrooms, meeting areas and event space 

Note: The live feed video has moved. Please click on the 'VIDEO' tab above to watch our progress!

Construction timeline

February 2013
Board Approves new McCain Centre construction
March 2013
Preparation for construction (fencing, signage, ground clearance)
April 9, 2013
Sod Turning and Community Celebration
Spring 2013
Work on building begins (ground work)
Summer 2013
Foundation in place
December 2013
Interior work begins
May 2014
Exterior Complete
Summer 2015
New Building Opens

FAQ Content

Design and construction

Does the new McCain Centre have any unique features?

  • The McCain Centre will provide students with a learning environment that is contemporary, technology-rich and interactive, including alcoves, flexible learning areas, and classrooms with interactive technology (two of which will be collaborative learning centres).
  • The building will connect the upper and lower campus of the Mount with a pedway and a link.
  • Meeting and reception space that will serve the Mount and broader community.
  • The Inspiring Women Installation will welcome visitors in the Elizabeth and Fred Fountain Atrium and space throughout the new Centre will celebrate and honour women.
  • Located outside the entrance will be the Riva Spatz Women’s Wall of Honour, honouring women in a garden-like setting.

How will the building serve the future needs of the Mount and broader community?

The plan has been amended to best suit the current and future needs for all members of the Mount community. Flexible teaching spaces and rooms will allow for event-hosting opportunities for the Mount and the broader community.

Will the building have Wi-Fi?

Yes, Wi-Fi will be available throughout the entire building.

How will the Library be connected to the Rosaria Student Centre?

A link on the main floor of the Library in EMF will connect to the McCain Centre, there will be a pedway from the McCain Centre with access to Rosaria, the area of the current Athletics Desk.

What are the plans for accessibility?

There will be a wheelchair accessible entrance at every level.

What is the size of the building?

The building will be four floors, and 49,600 square feet.

Who is the project manager for the Mount?

Tex Barkhouse is the Mount’s project manager. Tex has over 40 years of experience and has in-depth knowledge of the Mount’s grounds and facilities. He will oversee the project on behalf of the University.

Who is the construction manager for the project?

RCS Construction is overseeing the trades and related contractors doing work on this project. They are located near the construction site, and a temporary office has been built in the EMF building.

Who is the architect?

Harvey Architecture Ltd. has worked with the Mount’s Facilities Management team on the design plans for the new building.

Will the building be LEED certified?

The building was designed and constructed to a high level of efficiency encompassing equipment and materials. It has been tested and the results compared to industry matrix.

Will any trees be affected by the construction?

The new Centre was built into the current landscape of the Mount, and as such, some trees needed to be removed to accommodate the site. Every effort was made to limit the number of trees affected. Once the construction is complete, greenery and shrubs will be added.

How will the library space be affected during construction?

The ‘blue room’ became the temporary office of RCS Construction. To have as little disruption as possible from the noise, the quiet room in the library was moved to the Bedford Highway side of the building. Signage in the library was updated.

Will there be additional study space in the new McCain Centre?

Yes, there will be collaborative learning centres, breakout rooms, graduate and undergraduate spaces, and study alcoves.

Is there a concern about the noise level because of the two-storey foyer? 

The acoustic system was looked at seriously during the design of the building. All ventilation will be delivered from above, which will decrease the level of noise in the area. The air delivery system was designed at lower pressures to reduce air velocity sound transmission and all returning air to the fan system will be encased in metal.

I’m interested in learning more about the building. Is there a presentation available?

Yes, please contact and the team will do their best to accommodate your request.


What is the cost of the building?

We anticipate the building and associated costs to be $19.4 million.

How is it being funded?

With the generous support of donor contributions, over $12 million of the funding has been secured and the remainder has been financed. The financing took place at a time when interest rates were low and we exercised due diligence to ensure that we obtained the best rates possible through a competitive bid process.

What is the status of Project TWENTY12?

Led by the single largest gift in the Mount's history ($2.25 million), Project TWENTY12 successfully raised over $12 million in support of the new McCain Centre. The campaign came to a close on April 9, 2013, as students, faculty, staff, donors, alumnae, and community members gathered to celebrate at the building's official sod-turning.

Have there been efficiencies built into the project?

The Mount and our various architectural and construction partners continue to be environmentally conscious, including our partners at Efficiency Nova Scotia Corporation. The building will be as cost effective as possible, working towards the best return on our investment.


When does construction begin?

Preparation for construction (fencing, signage, ground clearance) will begin in March 2013.

When does construction end?

Construction is expected to be complete in early Summer 2015.

What are the scheduled days and hours of construction?

It is anticipated that construction will take place Monday to Friday, between 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Student Spaces, Departments and Centres

What departments or centres will be housed in the McCain Centre?

Communication Studies (including Public Relations); Business and Tourism; Women’s Studies (including Nancy’s Chair); the Alexa McDonough Institute for Women, Gender and Social Justice; the Dr. Rosemarie Sampson Centre on Aging; Co-operative Education; the Centre for Women in Business, and the Teaching and Learning Centre.

What consultation has taken place?

Key stakeholders, including faculty and students were consulted in early 2012 to determine current and future needs.

What types of spaces will be available?

There will be classrooms with interactive technology (two of which will be collaborative learning spaces), breakout rooms, graduate and undergraduate spaces, and study alcoves.

How were the spaces named?

The University worked with donors to name appropriate spaces in honour of women. Names were approved by the Board of Governors per the University’s naming policy.

Access and Parking

How many parking spots will be affected with this project?

  • During the construction period, 42 parking spaces were affected next to the E. Margaret Fulton Communications Centre. The parking lot on the north side of Seton Annex was extended by approximately 80 feet, resulting in an additional 22 parking spots.
  • The buildings previously located at 3 and 5 College Road have made way for future additional parking. It is anticipated that following construction, there will be an overall gain in parking spaces on campus.

Will there be any changes to access on campus?

The pathway between EMF (Library) and Rosaria has been fenced off and inaccessible during construction and is expected to re-open this summer (2015). The road that leads from the lowest Rosaria parking lot (where the sidewalk ends) to the EMF parking lot is now fully accessible.


How often will there be updates?

As information becomes available, the webpage will be updated. We encourage you to visit this page regularly.

Will there be any rock blasting?

The initial construction site preparation plans did not include rock blasting, however once work commenced on the site, rock blasting was required.

Will there be photos or video progress reports?

Photos and time-lapsed videos have been shared throughout the duration of the construction process.

Will any current buildings be removed once the construction of the new McCain Centre is complete? If so, which ones?

The buildings at 3 and 5 College Road were removed as they were in need of significant repairs. These buildings housed the NS Centre on Aging and the Alexa McDonough Institute for Women, Gender and Social Justice.

Are there other improvements being made on campus?

In addition to the new McCain Centre we continue to make updates to a number of spaces in Seton, the bookstore, and areas within the library. For the complete list of updates, visit the 'Updates' tab dated June 11, 2014.

What will happen to Seton Annex?

The Mount’s Child Study Centre will remain in the Seton Annex. Plans for the remaining space have not yet been determined.

Where do I send my comments or questions?

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News/Updates Content

Recent Updates & Announcements:

April 2015 – The new McCain Centre is set to open at the end of May 2015. The tenants have had an opportunity to tour the building and a tenant FAQ is available. 

June 11, 2014 - In addition to the new McCain Centre we will be making updates to the Seton Auditorium, a number of Seton classrooms, the bookstore, and areas within the library. 

Seton Academic Centre - As part of Project TWENTY12 some funds were allocated to making improvements to existing buildings on campus. This includes modernizing Rooms 504 to 508 in the Seton Academic Centre. The changes will include new ceilings, flooring, furniture, audio video technology, and card access; and the removal of redundant cabinetry, and partitions (505/506). All rooms will receive a fresh coat of paint. These improvements are scheduled to be complete by the time the students return in September.

Library and E. Margaret Fulton (EMF) Building Upgrades Work is underway to begin phase one of the Learning Commons, a space that is intended to increase student areas for individual and collaborative tasks. The Mount received funding for the Learning Commons through the province’s Excellence and Innovation Program. Some of the upgrades and changes include (note: elevator usage will be maintained throughout):

  • Upgrading of student space on the upper level of the EMF, including the construction of a centralized printing/scanning/technology area
  • New and flexible furniture for the front commons and the MacDonald Room
  • Construction of three new group study rooms (will be bookable in advance and available through card access)
  • Relocating technology away from window areas to provide fresh inviting spaces for the Mount community
  • Active common area at the entry point from the new McCain Centre link (estimated to open by next summer)
  • Greater access and open atmosphere through removal of north stairwell doors and some wall sections (north stairwell fire exit will be maintained throughout construction)

In addition, there are changes required in the main level of the library to accommodate the link to the new McCain Centre and increased traffic flow between the buildings. As some of these upgrades will impact normal routines, we appreciate your continued support as we facilitate these improvements with as little disruption as possible.

April 25, 2014 - Construction work on the new Margaret Norrie McCain Centre for Teaching, Learning and Research has continued over the winter months with much of the work taking place inside or at the back of the building. Last week, the mechanical equipment, including air handling units, air conditioning and heating equipment, was delivered and in the coming weeks you can expect to see big changes to the exterior of the building. These changes include:

  • Exterior - The exterior panel work at the back of the building is nearing completion and work will soon begin on the front of the building. These panels will be installed in sections with each taking several days to be put in place. The work on the front of the building is expected to be completed in the next two months.
  • Pedway - The structure of the pedway that will connect the new centre to Rosaria will be installed in the coming weeks. This pedway from the McCain Centre will provide access to the current Athletics Desk area of Rosaria. The link that will connect the McCain Centre to the EMF/Library is scheduled for completion in October.
  • Access to the Rosaria Parking Lot - There will be a bridge between the McCain Centre and the lower parking lot outside of Rosaria. The work on this bridge is targeted for completion in the next month. 
  • Retaining Wall / Masonry Work - The work on the retaining walls and the masonry work is well underway and will be completed over the summer. 

The University community is reminded that the construction site fencing will be maintained for the duration of the construction period and your continued support is greatly appreciated. Watch the big changes taking place! You can continue to follow the progress of the building by checking the construction website along with the live webcam. Questions and feedback can be sent to

January 7, 2014 -The construction work on the new Margaret Norrie McCain Centre for Teaching, Learning and Research (McCain Centre) is well underway.  The construction began in the spring and a number of key milestones have already been met including: 1) excavation of the site, 2) concrete construction of the four floors, and 3) placement of the supports for the pedway that will connect the McCain Centre to Rosaria. There are also several projects in progress including work on the retaining wall, access to Rosaria parking lot, electrical power and mechanical - heating, ventilation and plumbing. As with any large building project, there are a number of variables that influence the overall schedule. We have over 25 different trade contractors working on the project and there are a number of dependencies between these activities. There are also some aspects of the project, such as work to allow for the pedway between Rosaria and the new centre to be constructed, that can only take place during quiet periods on campus. When the McCain Centre schedule was originally estimated we expected to be further along than we are at this time.  As the construction has progressed, there has been some unexpected work required, including rock blasting during the period of excavation. We continue to work closely with our construction management company and all of the trades to complete the building and our new anticipated date for opening is early Summer 2015. You can continue to follow the progress of the building by checking out this site, along with the live webcam as the project progresses. Questions and feedback can be sent to

November 14, 2013 – The pouring of the concrete for the third floor of the new building is currently planned to take place Friday, November 15th. Weather permitting, the trucks are scheduled to arrive and begin in the morning. This will require several trucks delivering cement throughout the day, and as a result, you will see extra truck traffic on campus. We appreciate your continued cooperation, and welcome your feedback to

October 3, 2013 – We've reached another exciting milestone in the construction process - the 2nd floor concrete for the new McCain Centre will be poured on Friday, October 4. This will be one continuous pour, and will require several cement trucks to make deliveries over several hours. As a result, you will see extra truck traffic on campus. Thank you for your continued cooperation.

August 19, 2013: Parking passes for 2013-2014 will be available to purchase beginning Monday August 19, 2013. In keeping with our sustainability efforts and to reduce our paper usage, an electronic application form on myMount will be used this year. The forms will be processed by Security and you can arrange for payment and pass pick up 24 hours after you’ve submitted your form. Staff at Assisi Desk are available 24 hours a day, and are happy to answer questions or help you calculate the best option. You can drop by or call 457-6412 for more information.

July 23, 2013: Commencing Wednesday, July 24, 2013 until September 1, 2013, we will be constructing the columns for the pedway and water services to the McCain Centre. During this time, the lower stairwell exit at the locker room level will be closed.  Signs have been posted and emergency exits have been identified.  When frequenting Rosaria, please familiarize yourself with this new exit procedure. Periodically, the walkway leading to the Rosaria Terrace entrance will be barricaded.  Signs and/or caution tape may be used to clearly identify the construction zone.  The main entrance will remain accessible for the duration. For your safety, please respect the construction workplace.

July 3, 2013: As construction continues, be advised that pedestrian access between Rosaria and the EMF is limited. Please use the alternate pedestrian pathways. Safety barriers and fencing have been installed around the construction site for your protection and must be respected. Violations will be reported to campus security.

June 26, 2013: Beginning early Saturday morning, Facilities Management will be shutting down all water service to the Rosaria Student Centre. This outage is required to facilitate the water, sprinkler, and washroom connections for the McCain Centre. Water service in Rosaria will be unavailable until late Sunday night. Upon reconnection there may be a possibility of a slight discoloration in the water. During the outage all washrooms in Rosaria will be locked. The closest available washrooms can be found on the third floor of Assisi. Progress of construction will be closely monitored by Security and if you have any questions or concerns call 457-6412.

May 30, 2013: Additional rock blasting is required as part of site preparation for the new McCain Centre. A number of blasts will take place, with a notification horn both before and after each occurance, until Friday, May 31, at which time it is expected the blasting will be complete. We appreciate your patience as we continue construction.   

May 22, 2013: While initial construction site preparation plans did not include rock blasting, recent work indicates blasting will be required. Small blasts will take place for three days beginning May 23, with a notification horn both before and after each occurrence. In addition, the parking lot on the north side of Seton Annex will be extended by approximately 80 feet beginning in the month of June, to replace former parking spaces at the site of construction. Lastly, the roadway linking EMF to the lower parking lot of Rosaria (previously barricaded and inaccessible to vehicles), will remain accessible to pedestrians only  for the duration of the construction period. Read the full construction bulletin »

April 2, 2013: Due to the construction of the new McCain Centre, the pedestrian pathways between Rosaria and EMF have been closed. Pedestrians will be redirected to use the road connecting the lowest Rosaria parking lot to the EMF parking lot. On a trial basis, this road will no longer be accessible by vehicles, and will be barricaded to ensure the safety of pedestrians. Closure will be monitored to measure effectiveness, and any changes will be communicated. We appreciate your cooperation, and welcome feedback as we work to better service the University community.  

March 27, 2013: Members of the Mount community are invited to celebrate in our shared success of Project TWENTY12. Join us on April 9 from 1:00p.m. to 3:00p.m. as we break ground at the construction site of the Margaret Norrie McCain Centre for Teaching, Learning and Research. A reception will follow the event in the Rosaria Student Centre multipurpose room. There are over 12,000,000 reasons to be part of this transformational event. RSVP by April 2 by calling 457-5546 or emailing  

March 14, 2013: For the safety of the University community, our construction partners have installed fencing around the construction site of the McCain Centre. For the duration of the project, there will be no access to the areas previously within these boundaries, including the pathway between Rosaria and EMF. We appreciate your cooperation, and encourage you to send questions to

Video Content

Watch our progress live on our construction site webcam!