By Mary Chan
Can it be? University of Calgary students may soon hear the long-awaited sounds of construction emanating from MacEwan Student Centre.
Though the Students’ Union is still attempting to secure a loan to finance its new multi-million dollar ballroom facility, tender has been signed to renovate a north section of msc.
"This is the first of a number of smaller projects that has to be done in conjunction with the large scale expansion and redevelopment," said SU president Rob South. "We thought we’d take this opportunity to make sure that we can get moving on some of the major parts of expansion, [and] things can occur in a more efficient manner."
The construction, which couldbegin this week, involves the second-floor corridor near the Campus Florist, Renert Centre and several bank machines. The floor of the corridor will be extended over Max’s Café to the exterior wall. The SU hopes to finish by Sept. 13, the first day of classes.
According to SU ffice-president Finance and Operations Amanda Affonso, the renovations should begin soon.
"[Barriers] will be going up this week," she said. "And then we’ll start with demolition, [and] all the electrical and mechanical stuff will be done."
Students should expect a few in-conveniences as construction progresses, particularly when accessing bank machines in the corridor.
"The Royal Bank and the cibc [machines] will probably be [re]located to the other side where the other bank machines are," said Affonso. "The florist and Renert Centre will remain in operation. Max’s will probably be closed for a couple of days, two days at the most."
The SU is using money from the student expansion levy (which is $7 per semester per full-time student, $3.50 per part-time) to pay for the $231,262 project.
"We’ve been collecting the fund for three and a half years, and some of that money has been used for architectural fees, design fees, efficiency examinations and stuff like that," said South. "There’s still some money in the fund that we haven’t used, and so we’re starting to use that for some of the smaller projects."
The new space will contain room for more food court seating, and could be leased out.
Students’ Legislative Council approved four further projects at Tuesday night’s meeting, including floor upgrades in MacEwan Hall, relocating the Campus Cove kiosk and the information booth, and moving the stairwell in the north msc courtyard which leads to athletics.