Volume 96, Issue 82
Thursday, March 6, 2003

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Concrete Beach gets makeover
Will still lack ocean, bikinis and surfing

By Paolo Zinatelli
Gazette Staff

Nothing says happy anniversary more than 10-foot trees and pretty lights.

At last night's University Students' Council meeting, President Chris Sinal presented a plan to redesign the landscaping on the Concrete Beach, in front of the University Community Centre. The renovation would act as a gift to Western on behalf of the USC for the school's 125th anniversary, Sinal said.

"It is a much needed renovation of the Concrete Beach," Sinal said, adding most students are not aware the area is actually the roof overtop the UCC basement, adding it has been leaking and the USC has been pressing for renovations for a while.

The university recently approached the USC this year and said they would be spending $1.5 million on renovations, Sinal said. As part of the renovations, the USC was told it would be allowed to do the landscaping, he added.

"It is the rational and right thing to do," he said, adding it is important for the USC to be involved in this matter.

As part of the presentation, Sinal unveiled the initial concept sketches to council, which include lights along the middle of the beach to keep it illuminated.

There will also be trees with a base of 10 feet, and benches and a stool for students to sit. "Students can sit, study, eat lunch, whatever," Sinal said.

The plan also calls for a lighted pavilion – which can be used all year – along with the installation of a USC flagpole.

The entire landscaping will cost the USC $250,000 over two years, Sinal said, adding the money will come out of the USC contingency fund and therefore not cost students any additional money.

The landscaping will be presented to Western as the USC donation for the 125th anniversary, and a plaque will be installed on the Beach in commemoration, Sinal said, adding it will be done by the USC on behalf of students.

Social science councillor Natasha Collia was very supportive of the idea. "It's a great way of giving back to the school and making this campus more beautiful than it already is," she said.

Fellow social science councillor Kathy Robineau agreed. "It's going to solve one of the ongoing problems of where to sit [around the UCC] in the summer," she said.

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2002 THE GAZETTE