UPEI’s Don and Marion MacDougall Hall, also known as the Business Building, has been a staple on UPEI’s campus since its official opening in 2008. It continues to serve as UPEI’s faculty and community reception area, providing open concept spaces, comfortable seating, and large auditoriums for hosting large meetings and professional discourse for students and staff.
Despite my initial praise, you might mistake me for a business student; however, that is not the case. All majors can appreciate this space, whether they have classes there or not. Walking into MacDougall Hall is a breath of fresh air, especially considering that many of UPEI’s buildings are sorely outdated and in dire need of renovations. The use of natural light and comfortable furniture makes studying at MacDougall Hall a slightly more enjoyable pastime. Slightly.
The downstairs of the building encompasses a large open room with couches lining the perimeter, which may seem like a slight waste of space, but it serves as the venue for many announcements and press conferences held by UPEI. The university strives to convey a modern and updated image, reflected in the exclusive use of the Business Centre or the new Engineering building for recorded announcements.
“The use of natural light and comfortable furniture makes studying at MacDougall Hall a slightly more enjoyable pastime.”
Nevertheless, the atmosphere of MacDougall Hall feels much more refreshing compared to the likes of the Robertson Library and SDU Main Building. The upper level is very similar to the lower level, offering extremely comfortable seating in the form of oversized leather chairs, akin to those found in the Sunroom area of the library, usually in use during peak study hours.
Don’t just take my word for it. Shane MacLeod, a student at UPEI, often finds himself studying at the Business Building and agrees with the practicality of the building, stating, “Compared to the other campus spots, this building [MacDougall Hall] seems to have a better vibe. It seems cleaner, and I don’t mind the hustle and bustle of students coming in and out of classrooms. I really do enjoy this building.”
Despite the benefits of MacDougall Hall, mostly due to its newness, there is one fault I find with the building itself. Around 10 am, the sunlight on the upper level beams into the side of the building. There are sun filters over the windows to help reflect this glare, but it can only do so much. In addition to the glare of the sunlight, the sun can make the upper level extremely hot, almost leaving you searching for a pair of sunglasses to counteract this daily inconvenience.
Despite these minor imperfections, it was extremely difficult to find many faults in the design and practicality of the building. I give MacDougall Hall a 9/10, a mark that many buildings on campus will not be able to attain. I am extremely happy UPEI has a building like MacDougall Hall on campus, especially after classes in the likes of Main and Memorial, which pale in comparison to the functionality and atmosphere of the Business Building.
“In addition to the glare of the sunlight, the sun can make the upper level extremely hot, almost leaving you searching for a pair of sunglasses to counteract this daily inconvenience.”
By Devon Thistle