Volume 94, Issue 2

Friday, May 19, 2000


NEWS

New student code of conduct drafted

UWOFA talks could mean deal

Private universities plan announced

New buildings put under microscope

Mental giants make presence felt at fair

Petition tries to rub out massage parlours

Prelude to an election

Council passes new arena proposal

Ravers get cold shower

New buildings put under microscope

By Mike Murphy
Gazette Staff



Earlier this week, Western's administration got advice from the public on how to avoid growing pains as its campus expands.

About 70 people attended a forum Monday night at the Engineering Sciences Building and heard Western president Paul Davenport outline plans for at least three new academic buildings and a residence, all to be built by the fall of 2004. Davenport said the new buildings are needed due to a sharp projected increase in enrollment.

Day care centre relocation, engineering space shortages and traffic congestion emerged as the main concerns, as Davenport opened the floor for questions.

Executive director of the Centre, Jill Arthur, said she was reassured by Physical Plant Services director, Dave Riddell's pledge, to find an equally viable new location for Western Day Care.

"I feel confident that they will take our best interests into their considerations," she said. "From my conversations with Dr. Davenport, I feel his heart is really there to support the child care centre," she said.

Members of Western's engineering faculty were also vocal, praising plans to build a new Advanced Technology Centre, while stressing a need for additional space and new facilities.

Ian Moore, professor of civil and environmental engineering, said a recent survey shows Western's engineers have less than half the space, per student, for the average Ontario university. "We're falling behind. This faculty is particularly pressed."

Jim Christian, a resident of the Orchard Park area, said he was unimpressed by responses to his concerns about congestion on Western and Sarnia roads.

"I was disappointed to hear that they didn't want to improve the traffic flow," Christian said, "I think that's an essential thing to being able to get along with the neighbours."

Davenport said he found the forum productive. "I thought we were able to bring out the reasoning behind the university's need to expand and also the reasons for the particular sites of buildings," he said.

Similar questions were raised at a second forum held Tuesday morning at the Richard Ivey school of business. Though less than 20 people attended, the engineering faculty was well-represented and reemphasized the need for new student spaces.

Greg Moran, Western's VP-academic, said he was confident the engineering faculty will get what it needs. "I'm sure we won't meet everybody's wish list, by any stretch, but I'm confident we can meet the needs of the [engineering] faculty in the coming years," Moran said.

Mike Scott, president of Elgin Hall, said he had doubts about whether building a new residence by the fall of 2003 would be soon enough to accomodate a ballooning student population.

"If you talk to the senior administration of the residences, they'll tell you that they really do need this extra building and they have to probably have it by 2002," Scott said.


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