September 28, 2020

IMG_5710BY STEPH SMITH
The Conestoga Residence & Conference Centre is, and has been, undergoing renovations over the last few months to update the building for its residents and hotel guests.
The kitchen has new flooring and new sinks – one at regular height and one that is more accessible to those in wheelchairs, where before the kitchen only had one sink at regular height. With the new sinks also came a new countertop, however, the three old stoves remain.
“Everything in the kitchen has been replaced, except for the stoves. We’re hoping to get new ones when the budget allows for it,” said Michael Ching’anda, general manager of the residence. “The patio has also been upgraded, except for the fence.”
The patio, which is located out back through a pair of double doors leading from the kitchen, has had a new cement foundation poured and it is now equipped with a covered grilling station and some new wrought iron circular picnic tables.
“Some of the rooms have been upgraded as well, but it’s a work in progress over about a 10-year span,” Ching’anda said. “It’s generally one floor and one wing every year.”
Ching’anda added that room upgrading will be from the oldest wings to the newest, starting in the old building. The upgraded rooms have new furniture and carpeting and had the wallpaper replaced with paint.
Some rooms that haven’t had the full upgrade have had things done in stages, such as kitchen and bathroom upgrades. These upgrades include new back splashes and countertops, light fixtures and new glazing in the bathtub. The bedroom areas have new bed frames and mattresses, as well as new 20-inch LCD TVs, which replace the old, non-LCD cable sets.
“We just finished upgrading the TVs, but some students are saying that they aren’t big enough,” Ching’anda said.
The upgrades are based on a priority initiative.
“How do we make student life better? We want everything to be accessible and that all standards are met,” said Steve Prentice, the Residence Life co-ordinator.
Both Ching’anda and Prentice said the study rooms are being converted as well, adding that the one on the second floor, traditional side (where the rooms are open-concept like a hotel room) is almost finished and will resemble a boardroom atmosphere.
“The hope is that students will be able to connect their laptops to the big screen TV in order to share presentations and information,” Prentice said.
In addition to the building upgrades, the residence has also upgraded their signage in order to better represent Conestoga College.
Ching’anda said that the renovations will be on going and that there will be contractors in and out of the building over the course of the school year in order to work on some projects which include general maintenance, such as changing light fixtures and replacing air conditioner vents, and other building upgrades