June 10, 2004  
Volume 98, Issue 04  

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New Spoke to be ready in August

By Marshall Bellamy
Gazette Staff

The planned renovation of The Spoke will not begin as soon as initially planned due to issues concerning the architectural plans suggested for the new space.

“A couple of things sort of took us from that timeline,” said University Students’ Council assistant general manager Mark Osborne, pointing out issues the USC had with some of the preliminary designs proposed by the architectural firm hired for redesigning the bar. “[They] weren’t quite what we wanted.

“We were going back and forth with the space,” he said, adding the architects of the new Spoke design and the USC spent approximately three weeks ironing out the details for the plans. “Then you had to run these by physical plant [and capital planning services],” he added.

The discussions over the plans have also pushed back the beginning of construction from mid-May to later this week, he said.

Osborne was quick to point out the projected date of substantial completion, Aug. 15, will still be met by the contractors. “We’re still going to be able to meet substantial completion,” he said, explaining the date was chosen to give the USC a two-week buffer zone before classes commence and enable Spoke staff to train as the final 10 per cent of work is being completed after Aug. 15.
Dave Riddell, associate-VP of physical plant, noted this process is normal for construction projects and the possibility of late opening for The Spoke is still mired in doubt. “Hopefully they’ll be able to implement and complete the job by the end of August.”

“I think I’d certainly be happier if we had started already,” said USC bar and restaurant manager Dan Smith. “I’d be a little more comfortable if we started earlier, but we’re still in the window of opportunity.”

Smith confirmed The Spoke will be prepared to open in September, noting already a quarter of the staff have been hired and work is commencing on new menu ideas. “It’s a bit of an effort and a challenge and it’s going to take time.”



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