University of Lethbridge’s University Hall, better known as U-Hall, had a little bit taken off the top this past week.
Call it a crew cut reminiscent of the style of its original look from 1971, the year the iconic Arthur Erickson-designed building was completed the exhaust stacks are now gone.
A total of 27 exhaust stacks were erected over the years as necessary updates to meet modern laboratory ventilation and safety standards.
When the sciences moved into the newly constructed Science commons facility in 2019, one of the first orders of business was to decommission the stacks and take them down.
Removing the stacks is more than symbolic, it marks the starting point of the second phase of the Destination Project, which includes the redevelopment of space within the original U-Hall.
The provincial government recently made a $20 million commitment to the renewal of the central heating and cooling plant within the University, a crucial step in the rehabilitation of the building .
Much needs to be done before that work begins, though including the establishment of a master plan for the now open spaces.
For now, purists can revel in the return of the flat top to Erickson’s iconic work.