Construction conundrum

By R. Paul Dyck

Students awaiting the proposed MacEwan Student Centre redevelopment will be happy to know that progress may be on the way.

Initially scheduled for completion in January 2000, redevelopment in MSC is about to resume, albeit with a later completion date.

"Plans have not changed," said Students’ Union Vice-president Operations & Finance Amanda Affonso. "We are continuing with redevelopment and are looking forward to beginning the expansion project."

The project, involving new kiosks in MSC, came to a standstill last semester as the SU awaited tendering–a process where companies bid on a proposed contract price.

"All development requires tendering the project," said Affonso. "This usually takes two to four weeks. We have finished the tendering and have rewarded a contract."

The contract was awarded to a Calgary construction company, Elan, which the SU hopes will begin redevelopment shortly.

"[Elan] will be responsible for developing the new Travel Cuts space, the Food Kiosks in MSC and the new feature staircase in MSC," said Affonso. "We expect to see things happen in the next few weeks, with a completion date of the end of March."

The project is waiting for the university to put forth a tender, which was required before the project could move forward.

"The university has to put forth the tender," said Affonso. "We didn’t have a lot of control over deciding when to open the new kiosks."

"[The university] didn’t want to open during the semester," added Affonso. "They thought it would be better to open at the beginning of the semester, which is in the spring."

Although many students are sympathetic regarding the setbacks, some feel the development problems reflect the SU’s inability to forward their programs.

"It’s typical SU," said fourth-year student J. Haney. "They say one thing, half of it gets done late and the rest falls by the wayside like all of the rest of the brilliant plans they’ve had over my four years."

"It’s a shame that the SU and the university can’t work closer together with the objective of the student in mind," added Haney.

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