Merlin House spreads its wings as Fanshawe welcomes new rez

It's been a little over five years, but the wait is virtually over. Ushering in the fall semester, not only will Fanshawe's doors be opening this month for students, but the college is pleased to announce the debut of yet another new building on campus; a third residence, more formerly known as R-3, or Merlin House. Following suit in Fanshawe's tradition of naming its residences after variant subspecies of falcons, the “merlin” part of the moniker seemed only too appropriate.

As the final nail is hammered and the finishing coat of paint is applied, Fanshawe is gearing up to accommodate an additional 400 students with this expansion, raising its total bed count to around 1200.

Though the original target date for R-3's opening was scheduled for December 1, 2009, college faculty, including Denise Luksys, Project Co-ordinator for the Facilities, Planning and Development Office, realized the benefit in attempting a September launch. In the event that all of the scheduled work has not yet been completed by this time, a contingency plan has been set in place which guarantees the availability and readiness of approximately 320 beds for the first day of school.

While Fanshawe's founding dates back to the 1960s, it wasn't until 1999 that the college introduced its premier residence, formerly “R”, and now referred to as R-1 or Falcon House. With the college's continued diversification in terms of offered programs of study (and hence higher enrolment rates), the construction of R-2 aka Peregrine House came only a few short years later.

Like the former residences, R-3 features mostly four bedroom suites with a few two bedroom units primarily designated for mature students. However, as Luksys explains, R-3's construction allowed for more of a contemporary spin which has worked to enhance its convenience, especially for students with mobility issues.

“It's got a bit more modern features, we've incorporated a barrier-free design,” explained Luksys. “Once again R-1 has six barrier-free units and there has been a need for additional barrier-free units, so there has been six added that's new here to this one compared to the most recent one.”

But that's not all. The residents of R-3 will also be bestowed the privilege of getting their hands on an exciting new piece of technology known as a “voice-over IP phone”. Similar to a computer plug-in, “instead of [wiring] into a voice drop,” as Luksys describes, “[the phone functions as] a data drop.” While the phone's capabilities and features have yet to be fully explored, Luksys believes it is sure to be a fun and useful tool for students.

Finally, since college isn't about all work and no play, Luksys wasn't shy about detailing Fanshawe's latest rez's own unique set of amenities sure to encourage student gathering and mingling.

“There's a large two-floor activity lounge...a fireplace, a big screen-TV and a pool table area [along with] some bar-height tables and some soft seating.”

So, if R-3's promise of comfort away from home wasn't enough, it clearly has loads to offer in the way of student enjoyment and recreation. But new students be warned, that's no excuse to neglect your studies!

The total cost of the building contract for Merlin House came in at almost $23 million, and that's not including the additional (but necessary) expenses pertaining to furnishing and networking.

Fanshawe looks forward to welcoming an even larger student population for the 2009/2010 academic year. For further information regarding on-campus living, check out the Fanshawe Residence official webpage located at