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About Our Architect

This month we had a chance to chat with Léo Lejeune, Stantec’s principal architect for the SAMU Building project. We want you to get to know the Stantec team a little better, since they’ll be making our building a reality!

Here’s what Léo had to say about the SAMU Building project:

The project’s Building Committee currently has 10 participants

  • 3 from SAMU
  • 2 from MacEwan University’s Facilities team
  • 3 from the third-party project management firm, Integrated Management & Realty (IMR)
  • 2 from Stantec Architecture

This list will grow as we start to fold in our sub-consultant team members, including: structural engineers, mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, civil engineers and landscape architects.

What’s been the most exciting aspect of working on the SAMU Building?

Definitely the most exciting part of this project is working with SAMU to help shape a vision for a great facility for its students.  Talking with students and seeing their excitement build makes the project even more rewarding.  It’s also fun dealing with SAMU staff and seeing their excitement build as the project moves along.

What does working with SAMU mean to you and your team?

SAMU is a wonderful group to work with because they are so passionate about their cause – serving students.  I’m often in awe of the dedication and hard work that the SAMU executive have been putting into this project… especially knowing that this is only one of the areas of responsibility these individuals carry in their roles.  They are so enthusiastic about the project, and are willing to learn all of the complex elements that are involved in seeing a building take shape – everything from the financial pro-formas, student engagement processes, and governance approval mechanisms, through to the creative architectural design discussions, and even the technical elements of how to structurally hold up the building or where to direct storm-water run off!

As a team, where do you feel that your excitement and drive for the project come from? 

Firstly, we have ALL been students in our lifetimes, in one way or another… and we can all remember our university experiences as having been wonderful in some ways, but also having room for improvement in other ways.  And so this project gives us all a chance to help bring the best of what our collective experiences have to offer, but also the best of what university and college planning across the country has to offer.  Secondly, we recognize that for most institutions across the country, each Student Union really only has ONE chance to build a student center.  So we appreciate that for MacEwan and for SAMU – this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to build a dream – and how important it is to get it right.  As architects, we take that responsibility very seriously, knowing that the building will have to serve the campus’ needs for decades to come!

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Of course, we love them too! SAMU’s VP of Operations and Finance, Amy Beard, says, “Our experience with Stantec has been fantastic. They’re very creative, understand the needs of the students and are always on the same page as us when it comes to putting students first.”