Construction briefs

By Ruth Davenport

With the new school year comes a new round of relocations and renovations in the MacEwan Hall Expansion saga.

According to University of Calgary Students’ Union Vice-President Operations and Finance Natasha Dhillon, construction on the ballroom is proceeding at a healthy pace following the relocation of Campus Security to MacEwan Student Centre.

"We can now just start connecting the two buildings," she said. "It means that we can be more on schedule than before."

The ramifications of the Campus Security move extend to the third floor of old MacEwan Hall, where construction crews are erecting drywall around the open balconies. Dhillon explained that updated fire safety regulations mean the third level of the building can no longer be an open floor plan.

While work on the new ballroom proceeds, two student services located on the third floor will have to relocate. Both NUTV and Renert Centre Tutorials will move to the former CANA site offices on the second floor of MacEwan Hall behind the bank machines. The space will be shared between NUTV, the Renert Centre, Volunteer Services and the Campus Food Bank.

"To a certain extent, the SU has been good in helping us," said NUTV Executive Director Kevin Allen. "They’ve found us space and they’re helping us move and they’ve guaranteed that we’ll be back in this space by Christmas. But we’re frustrated because of the timing; it seems that all the information coming out of the SU regarding construction is last minute."

Dhillon pointed out that the timing of the move was directly related to the relocation of Campus Security.

"If Campus Security had moved when the university had been told that they would, this could have been avoided," she said. "But they just moved, so we can only start doing the work now."

Allen also expressed frustration over the loss of space between the current NUTV offices and the temporary site, but was resigned about the shuffle.

"We’re going to lose a couple hundred square feet and there’s a question about air quality [in the temporary space]," he said. "We seem to be powerless and have no control over the situation, but we’re trying to put a brave face on it."

Dhillon agreed the move was difficult.

"It is a hardship," she said. "And the space is a little out of the way. But it’s a fine working environment, it’s being cleaned and painted and prepared for them and afterward, they’ll have a nice space."

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