Battery Hotel’s future focus of public event

Andrew Robinson
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MUN consultation in St. John’s looks at programming, partnerships

St. John’s residents will get a chance tonight to learn about Memorial University’s vision for the former Battery Hotel and offer suggestions of their own about its future use.

This concept rendering shows what the Battery Hotel might look like after Memorial University completes renovations of the property. — Image courtesy of Memorial University

The university’s office of public engagement will host the event at the Johnson GEO Centre. It starts at 7 p.m. Those attending the event will be asked to make suggestions about programming at the site and what the university should do with space that’s not allocated for any specific use as of now.

Some aspects of the property’s future use are already set in stone. The Harris Centre, Genesis Centre, Gardiner Centre and the office of public engagement will move into the building, and more than 100 graduate students are expected to live there.

Portions of the property parallel to Cabot Avenue, including the pool area, have not been earmarked for any specific project as of yet, according to Rob Greenwood. He spearheads the Battery redevelopment project and is the executive director of the office of public engagement.

“We haven’t got the budget and we haven’t decided how we’re going to use that part of the building yet,” said Greenwood, who refers to that space collectively as the city-view wing of the property. That wing is 37,622 square feet.

When considering what might occupy this space, Greenwood said it is important to remain aware of the vision for the building as a hub for public engagement activities.

“We’d love to hear 100 ideas, and then maybe in the fall for that part of the building have (a public event) where you bring in the five or 10 or 15 ideas that seem like the best fit and see how it could all fit there,” he said.

The pool currently has a large crack in its foundation that could be repaired. Greenwood said the pool’s future was brought up by neighbours and added the option of repairing it has not been definitely ruled out.

Another suggested feature for the property was to have a restaurant or bar open to the public. Greenwood said the Graduate Students' Union is interested in this proposed feature and that people from the neighbourhood also mentioned it.

People interested in attending the event can register online at Those who cannot make it to that event or other public consultations across the province scheduled for later this month can also submit their ideas through the same website.

Twitter: @TeleAndrew

Organizations: The Harris Centre, Genesis Centre, Gardiner Centre

Geographic location: Cabot Avenue

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