News In Brief

News in Brief

City Council approves new residences

Plans for two new campus residences have been approved by City Council.
The residences are scheduled to begin construction by the end of this year on Stuart and Albert Streets. The project had planned to begin earlier, but was slowed by opposition from the surrounding Kingston community, arguing the buildings would be too large for the area.
The City passed amendments for zoning by-laws, which allowed the buildings to be placed in that area. One building, to be placed on Stuart St., will be five storeys high and house 272 students.
Albert St.’s residence will be nine storeys high, housing 274 future students.
In a press release, Vice-Provost (Academic) Alan Harrison stated he is happy with the City’s decision to allow the buildings’ construction, adding it will give the University more flexibility in terms of where to place students from all academic levels.
The Board of Trustees approved plans in March of this year to ensure that these residences contain accessibility features to accommodate all students.
Features such as wheelchair access throughout the buildings, visual alarms to accommodate deaf students and gender-neutral washrooms are set to be built.
For the full story, see Tuesday’s digital issue of the Journal.

— Olivia Bowden

Funds for accessible taxis approved

The Kingston Area Taxi Commission’s request for a loan from the City has
been approved.
$60,000 will go towards a local taxi company to introduce three accessible taxis on roads in order to accommodate
Kingston residents.
Some councillors were concerned about the loan as it gives public funding to a private company; however, most agreed that the City should ensure everyone in the community equal access to public transportation.
The money will be taken out of parking fines paid to the city for people who parked in handicapped spots.
Although the City of Kingston does fund accessible busing, the bus won’t be available at all times of day or night.
Mayor Mark Gerretsen told media that if the taxis are not purchased according to the agreement, the loan will be withdrawn. He did not specify a timeframe for the taxis to be purchased.
Kingston must offer the service in order to follow the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, which states that municipalities must continuously keep transit available for all members of the community.

— Olivia Bowden

Renovated Ellis Hall spaces

Construction has begun to convert three classrooms in Ellis Hall into designated spaces for active learning.
The classrooms — rooms 319, 333 and 321 — were designed to facilitate discussion and active collaboration between students. They will each be configured differently.
The first room will feature moveable seating, the second will include round tables and interactive display boards per table and the third will also house monitors for each table, which will seat eight.
Funds used to cover the cost of the renovations were provided through the Initiative Campaign, in order to boost interactive learning on campus.
The classrooms are expected to be completed by Jan. 2014.

— Vincent Ben Matak

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