March 16, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 86  

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Council approves Spoke facelift

By Marshall Bellamy
Gazette Staff

The University Students’ Council voted unanimously on Saturday to approve $500,000 in funding for a renovation of The Spoke.

At the USC Annual General Meeting, general manager Mark Sellars presented renovation plans to council before the vote to approve funding, with some councillors’ raising concerns.

Sellars explained that after the vote, consultations will begin with various contractors and the final plans will be made. Construction is set to begin May 3, and the doors will re-open for business Sept. 1.

Sellars noted that due to the need to finish the project before September, expediency in approving the plans and funding for the renovations would be a priority.

Several councillors reiterated the importance of getting the renovations done by September, and raised concerns about the renovation going over budget.

“[From] what I’ve been told, it’s doable under budget,” Sellars said. “If something dramatic opens and we’re over budget, then obviously we’ll go back to budget,” he said, adding there is a contingency fund if costs exceed expectations.

Don Peat, president of the Huron University College Students’ Council, recommended that some of the old Spoke fixtures be auctioned off.

Sellars explained that it would be something he would look into.

Brian Lynch, undergraduate student representative on the Board of Governors, pointed out the lack of commercial viability in the renovation plans. “There doesn’t seem to be a commercial side to the design.”

“It was our fourth priority,” Sellars said, explaining the goal of the project is to provide lounge space for students.

Dan Smith, the manager of The Spoke and The Wave, said the three new food kiosks that are planned include a fresh pasta bar, a sandwich stand and a type of juice bar. “It’s not a juice bar, but it has a juice bar feel.

“The Spoke kitchen will more or less stay the same, with an emphasis on speed,” he added.

Smith mentioned that the bar portion of the The Spoke will also be renovated. “It’ll be nice, but there will be a smaller feel,” he said, adding the bar will also maintain its “Spoke feel.”



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