'Sky's the limit' on UCC renovation plans

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Diagram of future basement level of UCC

Gazette file photo

OUR COMMUNITY CENTRE IS A VERY, VERY, VERY FINE COMMUNITY CENTRE. The above drawing shows the plan for renovations in the UCC once Campus Recreation moves out in 2008.

Student feedback is essential to the upcoming University Community Centre renovations " and “the sky’s the limit” according to the University Students’ Council.

With ‘world cafés’ beginning next week, the USC intends to gather feedback to gauge what students want to see in the UCC.

The cafés will provide a casual setting for important topics to be discussed.

“[For participants, the goal is to] think big,” USC VP-finance, David Singh, said.

Singh would not commit to a price ceiling for potential renovations as the possibilities are up to students, but he noted structural changes would be extremely expensive.

“We will not rack up student levies without good reason,” Singh assured.

Singh said one element of the future renovations is a sure thing.

The 25,000 feet of empty space created once the Campus Recreation Centre is moved to the Thompson Recreation Centre in 2008 will become classrooms and storage areas.

However, students can still impact other areas of the UCC.

Some of next week’s cafés are open to students-at-large, while others will give specific constituencies " like athletes or councillors " a chance to voice their concerns.

According to Amy Bi, USC communications officer, the sessions will be two hours in length, featuring icebreakers and other methods for engaging participants.

With online blogs to document the cafés, Singh explained students will be able to see the living process.

Tim Yeung, a fourth-year media, information and technoculture student, said he was skeptical student input will be useful.

“I feel the USC will just come up with their own plan anyway,” third-year political science student Victoria Bentley said.

Erin Coad, a manager at the Wave, said it’s a good idea to get different perspectives in the beginning.

“You just have to try to use that input to think about the general student body,” she added.

Lauren Shunock, a third-year French and anthropology student and Wave employee, said people often give suggestions but staff can’t do anything about it.

“[Now] we can voice our opinions on how things run in the UCC ... [and] make things better for our clientele.”

Singh stressed the USC is committed to making sure every dollar spent on the renovations will be seen as valuable.

Singh said the referendum on the final renovation plan is proposed for fall 2008.

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