Construction has been underway on the $1.2-million JDUC revitalization project since January. Now, according to Student Life Centre Managing Director Sam Anderson, the end is in sight.
“This will definitely be done before school starts,” Anderson, Sci ’17, said. Last year, students chose three projects via AMS survey: a skylight in the upper ceilidh, a restoration of Wallace Hall and an elevated walkway in the upper ceilidh.
The funds came from past student fees that were intended to go towards a new student centre in the three-phase Queen’s Centre project. The AMS cancelled the $141 fee in 2011, when it became evident that the second and third phases of the project wouldn’t be completed.
Shortly after, the AMS entered a contract with Queen’s to utilize the already-collected fees for the revitalization of a student space, selecting the JDUC as their starting slate.
Anderson says that the physical construction has been a relatively smooth process.
“The first thing we did was redid the washrooms on the ground floor and the first floor, so we now have a renovated men’s, women’s and universal washroom on both floors,” he said.
“The second thing we did was we wanted to brighten up the ceilidh, so we added a skylight, and then a skylight to the lower ceilidh. We know people hang out there, and it was kind of dark.”
The spaces were painted, and the walkway was constructed between the north and south sides of the building. Anderson noted that an extra benefit of the walkway was additional entrances to Wallace Hall.
“With those entrances now, we have an increased capacity in the space … it also provides more foot traffic options in the building,” he said. The revitalization of Wallace Hall had also been underway, fixing damage to the wood, re-staining and adding in large fans to keep the air moving in the space.
“The room can get pretty hot. Those fans will keep it cooler in the summer, and they’ll also keep it warmer in the winter because the hot air stays up there, so it’ll push it back down,” Anderson said.
Following final coats of paint, the addition of new and fixed-up furniture in the ceilidhs and additional seating being added to Wallace Hall the projects should be complete in time for the school year. The entire project, he said, has come in under budget so far.
“We’re not 100 per cent sure yet what that’s going to be in terms of how much money is left over specifically,” Anderson said. “But, moving forward we’re looking at uses that improve the building if we do have a significant amount of money left over.”
The University also announced conditional plans this month to begin demolition in the adjacent Physical Education Centre next door, set for the fall provided that funding is secured.
Graphics by Victoria Gibson and Jacob Rosen
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