Volume 92, Issue 55

Wednesday, January 6, 1999



Student involvement boosted

Renovation plans fly along as cost increases

Deal for wheels on the move

Faculty union demands on cloud nine

Law leaves smokers in London with less eating room

An explosive holiday didn't pay for thieves


Caught on campus

Renovation plans fly along as cost increases

By Sabrina Carinci
Gazette Staff

Upcoming renovations to Western's campus are still under discussion, but the university is preparing for final approval.

At a general information meeting in late November, Greg Moran, VP-academic at Western, outlined the highlights of the project which would affect many areas on campus, although most of the construction would be centered in Somerville House.

Moran said the construction will create various large classrooms, seminar rooms, computer laboratory space and approximately 20,000 square feet of teaching space.

The intention of administration, according to Moran, is to begin construction as soon as possible in order to have the needed classroom space available for September 1999. "The first step is to provide receptor sites for people to move from Somerville House," Moran said. He added once space is found to house the offices and other spaces in the building, construction at Somerville can begin.

"We're confident that we can do this for fall," he said.

The originally proposed cost for the university's facelift was $4.4 million. According to Dave Riddell, senior director for physical plant and capital planning services at Western, however, the revised cost for the renovations will be higher.

Riddell said the proposed cost increase is due to plans not conceived in the previous proposal, such as a computer lab in the basement of Somerville House and a large classroom in Talbot College.

In a meeting this afternoon with the design team, Riddell said he will bring forward the revised proposals to the Property and Finance Committee. "We're hoping it will be approved – we're running on a tight time line," he said.

Pete Hill, VP-campus issues for the University Students' Council, said he is confident any money spent on the renovation project will be spent properly. "The university has made it clear that they need more classroom space," he said. Hill added a computer lab in Somerville House would surely benefit students, as there is a lack of computer labs on campus.

According to Moran, a specific funding proposal will be presented to the Property and Finance Committee on Jan. 18. "More dollar figures will be attached to that proposal," he said. The proposal will be passed on to the university's Board of Governors on Jan. 28 and construction is hoped to begin by the end of the month.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999