A more contemporary St. James E Building

Renovations bring a new and improved space for George Brown College students

Wooden ceilings and beams, bare brick walls half awash in paint and caution tape are common sightings at St. James’ E Building (SJE) at 230 Richmond St. The school of design campus has undergone a serious revamp ever since two more floors opened up on May 1. Construction teams are working  on the basement and second floor to see it to fruition.

A lot has changed. First, the entrance was shuffled over to Richmond Street. The school of hospitality and tourism management have also moved to the second floor, where class space is shared with other programs.

“The faculty is extremely pleased with the new offices and student interaction spaces,” said Dario Guescini, the chair of the school of hospitality and tourism management.

The main floor, housing the school of design, welcomes the first-ever Canadian YouTube creative space. Formerly occupied by a photography studio, the art store IN and some workshop space, the college transformed the space and repurposed it for YouTube sets and offices. The renovations expanded photography studios  into room 227 and 228 on the second floor and the IN store was relocated.

Luigi Ferrara, dean of the centre for arts, design and informatics, explains that the strategic partnership formed between YouTube and the school “continues to grow as our media programs grow.”

Students can also enjoy more space and upgrades in technology like HD television screens, evolved studio environments, a maker lab, and study commons.

“The quality of the lectures and presentations have improved” as a result, said Eric Palmeter, a third-year graphic design student.

In addition, iPads and 3D printers are being added to growing list of student rental assets.

Francis Torres, the Student Association’s (SA) St. James campus director, compliments the new rooms for being “very open-concept and customizable.”  The SA funds The Dialog.

The new second-floor classrooms are modern and large, featuring energy-saving occupancy sensors, first-class A/V and security systems, large windows, and Wi-Fi.

Shannon Noonah, a second-year events management student, adds that she loves the “fresh vibes.”

With daily strides towards completion, there should soon be quiet instead of the sound of whirring drills.


A more contemporary St. James E Building