Digital Library construction begins…sort of

By Christian Louden

After countless sign changes, the Taylor Family Digital Library has been moved one step closer to completion–construction fencing has been up for several weeks, despite an absence of construction.

While the fencing around the MacKimmie Library’s east entrance seems to indicate that construction of the digital library is imminent, it has not yet been decided how it will be integrated into the current arrangement of buildings in the area.

“We have to land on a configuration before we can start [construction],” said U of C vice-president external relations Roman Cooney. “The fencing is a signal to the students and staff that construction will soon be underway. If it is at all possible to break ground before the fall semester, that’s exactly what’s going to happen.”

The fencing came into question during the Students’ Legislative Council question period on Tue., Jun. 19, when it was pointed out that no construction or demolition had been planned for the location that it had been placed in.

“It’s somewhat of a marketing strategy to raise awareness around getting people prepared for the demolition of the [link to Murray Fraser Hall],” said Students’ Union president Julie Bogle during SLC.

With the proposed completion date set for fall 2009 and no concrete plans on when construction will begin, speculation has arisen as to whether or not the digital library can be completed by the target date, currently posted on the sign outside the library.

“The Taylor Family Digital Library probably will not be completed for the next five years,” said fine arts faculty representative Teri Cameron during SLC.

The digital library has already endured many setbacks, including name changes, postponement of the previous fall 2008 completion date and an ever-increasing price tag, leaving some students skeptical as to what message administration is trying to convey with the fencing.

“I think that this fence is a testament to the bureaucracy and stupidity of our university,” said fourth-year chemistry student Chris Sveen.

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