Students are finally able to sit comfortably in the old gym.
The renovated space now includes a multi-faith space, several activity rooms, stage space and a mezzazine which can be separated from the rest of the lounge.
“The renovation ended up taking about 14 months total,” Jennifer Valadao, vice-president finance for the University Students’ Council, explained.
“There was never a set timeline for the project. There were dates that the contractor had hoped for the project to be done by,” she said.
The original deadline for the project was last Sepember and delays were caused by the discovery of asbestos in the gyms.
The renovations were paid for by $25 additional student fee. The project was budgeted for approximately $5,717,000. The estimated final total for the project is $5,528,964.
“The difference will go to cover any unfinished items and for more furniture to fill the space once everything is set up,” Valadao explained. She said the current spending had been used to renovate, furnish and place security measures on the space, along with any unforeseen costs.
Valadao noted some of the spaces, such as a multi-faith space, would be available for students to book and will be protected by security card access.
“The focus of the space is a multi-faith space, but also a space for spirituality and reflection as well,” Andrew Forgione, president of the USC, explained. He noted this would be the first space for multiple faith groups on campus.
Forgione noted while the space was dedicated for faith-based use, it would be governed by the same policies as any other USC space.
“We are looking to get a few drop in times for general students to come and reflect without a specific religious denomination,” Forgione explained.
Valadao hoped to see the space used for events which had not taken place on campus in the past.
“The main lounge itself can hold large scale events such as fashion shows that the UCC never had a venue for before,” she explained. “The mezzanine can be separated from the main space to allow for smaller events such as the start-up BizInc event that just occurred or coffee houses.”
Valadao added while students were able to use and book the space, there were still some finishing touches for the project.
“The next steps would be analyzing anything else that needs to be finished up when it comes to the renovations side. As well, analyzing any additions for the space to best adhere to the students’ needs.”