Rez construction underway
By Clare Elias
Construction is finally about to get underway on Western's newest residence on University Drive and it may prove accommodating for everyone except sophs.
The five storey building, housing 411 students, is expected to be completed by early June or July of next year. Dave Riddell, senior director of Western's physical plant, anticipated the construction will begin either late this week or in the earlier part of next week.
The new building's construction coincides with Western's policy of guaranteed admission and residence. Susan Grindrod, director of housing and food services said the co-ed building will have ample room for incoming students. "It wouldn't have been built if it was suspected that it wouldn't be filled," she said.
The residence will alleviate concern arising from last year's situation where 150 students were denied on campus residence and were forced to live downtown at King's Inn. However, members of residents' councils are apprehensive of anticipated changes from the housing administration.
For the upcoming year the number of sophs in residences will decrease by almost half. This number is anticipated to return to the original figure with the construction of the new residence.
Grinrod has previously said it would be foolish for administration to guarantee the numbers of sophs will go back up.
Matthew Bryce, former president of the Medway/Sydenham residents' council, said the concern is housing may be satisfied with the number of guaranteed soph beds for the upcoming year and disregard the plan to return to the original count.
"The number of sophs living in the residences has dropped over 50 per cent for next year and will average one soph per floor," he said. "This 'band-aid' year may be permanent, so the best thing residents' council can do is to stay with the game."
Bryce added the beds allotted to sophs will be given to the residents' council members and committee leaders while the remaining guaranteed spaces will be awarded to upper-year students who might also be sophs wishing to live on campus.
"Sophs are there out of the goodness of their hearts to provide student representation and this mission must be maintained for the following years," he said.