Major Projects

Frequently Asked Questions – Campus Transformation

Last update July 14, 2017

Brian Mulroney Hall

Is Nicholson Hall demolition going to begin this summer?

Demolition of Nicholson Hall is a multi-stage process. Since late May 2017, contractors have been on-site removing the interior of Nicholson Hall and conducting a hazardous materials abatement to ensure that no potentially harmful materials are released into the environment. Although much of the work has not been visible from the outside, the project is well underway.

The actual demolition of Nicholson Hall’s exterior is scheduled to begin in late July or August, depending on how long it takes to remove all materials from inside the building. When a date is finalized, it will be shared with the campus community.

Demolition is expected to last approximately two weeks.

When will Nicholson Hall parking be closed? What about the east-facing entrance to Nicholson Hall and Nicholson Tower?

It is estimated that both parking lots adjacent to Nicholson Hall will be fenced off and permanently closed the week of July 10th. This is necessary to prepare the site for demolition and subsequent construction of Mulroney Hall. As a result, neither Nicholson Hall nor the Tower will be accessible from the east side of campus.

Last summer, StFX expanded the parking lot behind Lane Hall in anticipation of this work. Thanks to this work the net number of parking spaces on campus will not decrease when the Nicholson lots are closed.

How are you ensuring barrier-free access to Nicholson Tower when the east-facing access points are closed?

A new barrier-free entrance is being constructed at the west side of the Tower (basement level.) This entrance will remain barrier-free for the duration of the project. New accessible parking spaces are also being added to the Nicholson Tower parking lot.

Ensuring barrier-free access is a priority for StFX throughout this project.

How will demolition of Nicholson Hall take place? Do we need to be worried about debris?

Demolition will take place via a “cruncher,” a type of machinery that ‘crunches’ off small bits of a building at a time. This approach contains the impact of demolition, minimizing noise and debris in the process as compared to a wrecking ball.

As a result, there is no concern of demolition debris from the construction site.

Will the demolition cause noise, dust and odors?

The nature of this type of work means that some noise, dust and odors should be expected. StFX and EllisDon are taking steps to mitigate these factors as much as possible and will monitor the work throughout the demolition process. Canadian health and safety standards regarding noise, dust and odors will be met at all times.

Will there be increased traffic on campus when demolition begins?

Members of the campus community may notice increased traffic on Cathedral Way and part of Notre Dame Avenue beginning in August when Nicholson Hall is demolished. This traffic is due to construction vehicles that will be removing demolition debris off-site.

This traffic will continue for much of the project’s duration as construction materials are brought to the site.

What is the timeline for project completion?

Please note the following timeline should be read as an estimate only. Details are subject to change as work progresses.

Project Milestone


Abatement of Nicholson Hall

May – July 2017

Demolition of Nicholson Hall

Late July/August 2017

Site excavation for Mulroney Hall

Late August/September 2017

New foundations are poured

October 2017

Exterior walls and roof completed

Winter/Spring 2018

Mulroney Hall opens

June 2019

The safety fence blocks off part of the sidewalk along Notre Dame Avenue. Why is this? How can pedestrians walk safely around the construction zone?

The tight size of the site means closing the sidewalk was necessary to accommodate the people and machinery required for the construction process. We are planning to build a new sidewalk in front of Lane Hall that will allow pedestrians to walk safely alongside the road. The sidewalk will extend as far as MSB, at which point pedestrian traffic can cross to the other side of campus using the existing sidewalk.

Facilities Management will monitor traffic patterns – both vehicular and pedestrian – throughout the project, and make adjustments to traffic flow and pedestrian walkways as necessary to ensure the safety of our campus community.

What’s happening to the trees around Nicholson Hall? Are they being moved before construction?

Over the past number of weeks, crews have been working to remove trees that will be impacted by Mulroney Hall construction. So far, over 25 trees (representing ten different species) have been successfully salvaged and re-located to the parking area behind Lane Hall.

Approximately seven additional trees from the Nicholson Hall area were not transplanted, due to factors such as their age, condition, and proximity to key university infrastructure (e.g. steam lines, underground power, etc.) that could be damaged by the uprooting process.

Where possible, our preference is to salvage and transplant trees instead of cutting them down. We are pleased that so many of the trees around Nicholson Hall have been saved so far. 

Temporary Classrooms

What spaces on campus will be used as temporary classrooms during construction of Mulroney Hall?

The complete list of temporary classrooms can be found here

Alternate Classroom Inventory-Frequently Asked Questions can be found here

How will you direct students and faculty to these new spaces?

Signage and maps will be developed over the summer of 2017 to direct students and faculty to the location of these classrooms.