A vision seven years in the making will come to life in downtown Sudbury this week.
On Wednesday, the Laurentian University School of Architecture will officially open its doors on Elgin Street.
Political dignitaries, including Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, will be on hand for the ribbon cutting. As will the 70 students of the charter class.
"I'm excited by the people that chose here and the people that we chose and their portfolios. They're really coming here because of a shared vision. And certainly that's the same for the faculty," said Terrance Galvin, the school's founding director.
"The issues of design-build, being in the north, celebrating the north. It's been many years in the making, the entire project beginning with the community. And then now here we are at the beginning, so I'm as excited as I could be."
The renovation and construction in the former farmer's market site and historic telegraph building wraps up this week.
Phase 2 of the $42.6 million school of architecture is expected to be complete by 2015.
It's the first architecture school in Canada in 40 years. It's only the second to be built outside of a traditional metropolitan city.
Bill Birdsell, President of the Ontario Association of Architects, says he's excited about what the school will contribute to design discussions nationally and internationally.
"This school has a different nexus, that is then going to have the graduates of this school unique," he said. "I'm certain that there will be many firms that will grow from these successful graduates in the future that will have buildings that we can't even dream of today."
The charter class will set the pace for the school's full complement of 400 students. The 400 students will represent the four-year undergraduate and two-year graduate levels of the program as Laurentian's master's of architecture program launches in the fall of 2017.
Laurentian economics professor David Robinson and his daughter Kirsten are credited with the idea to bring an architecture school to Sudbury.
"There's an element of delusion that was absolutely necessary for this project," Robinson said before laughing.
Blaine Nicholls is a retired architect in Sudbury who was at the helm of the school's steering committee.
"It's surreal in some ways," he said. "Stars have aligned."