Volume 93, Issue 4

Friday, June 4, 1999


PCs capture second term

London Mayor calls it quits

UWOFA overturns decisions

LTC changes outrage students

London opens arms to refugees

Med building may get cosmetic surgery

Banks loan for business



Caught on campus

Med building may get cosmetic surgery

By Paul-Mark Rendon
Gazette Staff

Western's Medical Sciences Building is set to go under the knife, as a design team was recently appointed for a $28 million renovation project – all that remains is coming up with the money.

Malhotra Nicholson, a London based architectural design firm, was awarded the consultant contract at last week's Board of Governors meeting. The phase project will be spread out over a period of three to four years, but the specifics of the plan have yet to be discussed.

Desh Malhotra, co-owner of Malhotra Nicholson, said the firm was excited about the upcoming project, but its undertaking is still in the early stages. "We still have to sit down with all the users and perform an evaluation study," he said.

Peter Mercer, Western's acting president, said in light of the university's past relationship with Malhotra Nicholson, the choice was clear. "They're simply well represented in the work they've done on campus," he said.

Projects the firm has already spearheaded include makeovers to Windermere Manor, Middlesex College, the Wave, The Spoke and current renovations at Somerville House, Malhotra said.

Moran said while having awarded the design contract marks a big step in the process, the source of the $28 million is still up in the air. "We have no money," he said.

Moran explained the project was presented to the Ministry of Education and Training in the hopes it would qualify for capital funding in the university sector. "The university is aggressively trying to get access to those funds identified in the pre-election budget, but at this point, we have no clear signal."

He also said there was a pressing need to bring parts of the building up to code. "We have lab facilities that were designed for the 1950s, not the 1990s."

Dave Ross, spokesperson for the ministry, said capital funding for infrastructure projects would remain unidentified until after the provincial election. "At this point, we'll have to wait until the new government tables a budget," he said.

Moran added if the money is not made available by the government, the project will have to be postponed until the capital is on hand.

Dave Riddell, director of Western's physical plant, said the department will be overseeing the endeavour and working along side the architectural firm throughout the renovation process.

He added while the proposal has been approved by the Board, the finalized plans for the renovations are still in the works. "We'll have to review the previous report and then confirm the design."

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Copyright The Gazette 1999