After more than a year of work, Piikani House is ready to welcome students once again with a new look and feel.
Part of the renovation included a new barbeque patio which will be available for students to enjoy in all six Aperture Park residences.
The patio project, jointly funded by the University of Lethbridge Students’ Union, Organization of Residence Students and Housing Services, adds two propane barbeques and a natural gas fire pit along with stonework all acquired from local companies.
Facilities Project Manager, Ed de Bruin, says the flow of gas to the patio is controlled by a two-step system for maximum student safety.
“The main valve will be controlled by Facilities to restrict use to set times,” he says. “A secondary valve with a timer controlled by the residence assistants so the students can use the patio during those times.”
Another new feature is the reopening of the fourth-floor balcony with improved safety features.
"We’ve added a large transparent barrier that goes to the roof which protects the students not only from the elements, but from the height as well,” de Bruin says.
While most of the work has been focused on the outside, there have been some improvements to the interior as well.
“The windows are one of the biggest improvements to the building,” de Bruin says. “They’re tinted and far more energy efficient than the previous ones which will really increase comfort levels for students.”
Other interior improvements include updated lighting fixtures, signage and the fire warning system.
With the project mainly focusing on replacing the exterior, de Bruin says they were also able to make some minor aesthetic improvements too.
“It’s the little things we were able to do,” he says. “We’ve added a new covered entry way and signage as well as new landscaping to the front.”
With Piikani now handed back over to housing, de Bruin’s focus is switching to Kainai House, which closed after spring semester to undergo the same renovations as Piikani.
“Once we’re done with the balcony on Kainai, the view will be spectacular!” he says.
One of four student apartment complexes in Aperture Park, Piikani House first opened in 1990. Piikani House is home to 120 students attending the U of L for their first year.