Volume 92, Issue 80

Thursday, February 18, 1999


Publication notice

Wave assault suspects sign deal

Apology made for election errors

Nervousness surrounds renovation funding

Job opportunities only a click away

Portable home in a box

Marijuana debate rolls into parliamentary hands

Safety an important part of slacking


Caught on campus

Nervousness surrounds renovation funding

By Sabrina Carinci
Gazette Staff

Western's $6 million facelift has only been in the works for two weeks and the project has already seen its share of hard luck.

Approximately $1.5 million of the funds required to complete the renovation project, which will add a number of classroom, teaching and office space to Somerville House and Elborn College, have yet to be received from the new government-initiated Access To Opportunities Program.

Joan Kilpatric, senior policy advisor for the Ministry of Education and Training, explained $150 million worth of funding over three years for ATOP was announced with last year's budget in an attempt to increase enrolment in technology-based programs such as engineering and computer sciences.

Kilpatric said universities and colleges interested in joining the program were told to submit a written proposal detailing how the funds would be used. "The response has been overwhelming – 17 universities and 25 colleges have responded."

She added the overwhelming number of submissions to the program are responsible for the delay in receiving the funds. Kilpatric added the submissions are sometimes returned to the institution for revision.

"It's a lot of money and we have to be sure everything is fine."

Although funding for the campus renovations has been established through a number of other sources including fund-raising, a capital reserve used for emergency projects and a deferred maintenance fund, the ATOP funds are long overdue and worrisome for some members of university administration.

"It was supposed to be here at the end of January," said Greg Moran, Western's VP-academic. "It makes our planning that much more awkward – it causes more anxiety," he said.

Dave Riddell, senior director of physical plant and capital planning services, said the ATOP delay is not holding back the renovations because of the tight renovation schedule. "There's an expectation that the money will be here soon. We just have to go, go, go," he said.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999