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Residence development process underway as donations come in following Bergen Hall fire
Providence President Dr. David Johnson has appointed a Task Force for Campus Redevelopment as the institution moves forward following the June fire that destroyed the Bergen Hall residence. Meanwhile, more than $4,500 in donations has been committed towards the $25,000 insurance deductible.
“Although the Bergen fire was a huge loss to Providence we are turning it into an opportunity to continue our climb to become one of the leading Canadian Christ-centred universities,” says Dr. Johnson, who, alongside the Task Force, will continue to tour some of North America’s standout residence facilities in the coming months.
Following the tours and a comprehensive consultative process the Task Force, which is already working with a designer and architect, will make its recommendation to the President, who will present development plans to the board. “We are exploring features to be incorporated into the new residence that will move us forward in offering a holistic, Christ-centred education that is second-to-none,” he says.
In the meantime Providence has renovated several existing residence buildings and installed 28 units of temporary housing that include oversize beds and individual fridges and bathrooms for each student.
“We have done a lot of work to ensure that our students have a great experience in residence this year,” says Marlin Reimer, Associate Vice-President for Student Life, who adds that the educational mission of the Residence Life program at Providence will be the “driver” behind the design and architecture of all new buildings.
In the next three weeks a number of campus groups, including students, Cabinet and the Student Development department, will meet with the designer and architect to discern the values and features that will be incorporated into the new residence facility. “We pray for wisdom as we plan to build a residence that will be flexible and resilient and will foster faith for the next 50 years or more,” says Dr. Johnson.
Interested supporters can visit the IMPACT 2020 website and designate their gift to the Bergen Fire Fund.
(Top to bottom: Dr. David Johnson; Bergen Hall the morning after the June 1 fire; a temporary housing unit.)


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