Out of the ashes: Cox Institute re‑emerges following devastating fire

- June 24, 2021

Late last week, nearly three years exactly after a fire ripped through the Cox Institute on Dal's Agricultural Campus in Truro, a renewed and repaired facility was officially turned back over to the university.

“This day has been a long time coming but is nonetheless exciting,” says David Gray, dean of the Faculty of Agriculture and prinicipal for the Agricultural Campus. “Our community, our university and our campus has rallied around the Faculty of Agriculture over the past three years and has helped to bring us here today. This was a group effort and the patience, hard work and resiliency of all involved has been truly remarkable. I’m excited for the future.”

No one could have dreamed that on top of re-building one of the campus’ main academic buildings that faculty and staff would also be dealing with a global pandemic — further delaying materials and the original timeline.

“The clean up following the fire, the complete interior demo, re-design and construction has been three years in the making and the result is remarkable,” says Stephanie MacKenzie, facilities planner for the Ag Campus. “The re-opening of Cox Institute for in-person teaching this September is the good news we all need during these times.”

The scope of work was significant, not only due to water and fire damage, but to also bring the building — constructed in the early 1960s — up to current building and fire codes.

Stairwells were moved, layouts re-configured and a multitude of equipment replaced and upgraded including:

  • Over 1,300 light fixtures.
  • Over 11,000 ft (3.3 km) of ductwork.
  • Over 38,000 ft (11.6 km) of piping
  • 120 rolls of flooring
  • 450 Various Chairs
  • 270 Fixed Seating/Tables
  • 50 Private Offices
  • 150 Various Tables
  • 27 Dual Station Monitor Rising Tables
  • 6 Workstations
  • Over 135,000 person hours worked, up to 104 trades on site at once and 40 different trade companies/suppliers/firms were part of this significant project.

A landscape plan has also been developed, with the bulk of the work set to take place over the summer months.


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