New Spoke to be ready in August
By Marshall Bellamy
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.”