AMS seeks student opinion on JDUC revitalization

Long-term plan developed, but use of revitalization fund still undecided

The AMS held an open house showing the long-term JDUC framework on Jan. 14.
The AMS held an open house showing the long-term JDUC framework on Jan. 14.
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The AMS is looking to add natural light and increased accessibility to the JDUC, according to a long-term framework presented to AMS Assembly on Jan. 15.

The AMS has $1.2 million in a JDUC revitalization fund that must be allocated to a new project by this spring. The money in the fund originally came from student fees paid towards the construction of the Queen’s Centre, which failed to see Phases 2 and 3 built.

The AMS is attending a focus group to determine specific projects in the long-term framework, based on ideas used in an October 2014 survey about what to do with the fund. The projects determined by the focus group’s preferences will be the projects undertaken with the revitalization fund.

“Our hope is that it will be in line with the long-term plan,” AMS President Allison Williams told Assembly, with regards to the use of the $1.2 million.

“We are in the process of gathering data about what students want in that space,” she said.

The long-term revitalization plan features an abundance of natural light and a new glass atrium connecting the east and west corridors of the JDUC. AMS Student Centre Officer Troy Sherman said these two features are based on what students have been requesting to see in the JDUC for years.

He added that the ability to implement big conference rooms or smaller study rooms is dependent on what students say they need.

The long-term plan also features new staircases that would make the building easier to navigate, as well as a new elevator shaft, making the building more accessible.

There has yet to be an official recommendation made to Campus Planning and Development, but Sherman said the AMS has been working closely with them so the plan won’t come as a surprise.

“Once we have a more concrete plan that students have accepted, that’s when we can get into the details about what the exact costs are going to be,” he said.

The plan has been presented to the AMS and SGPS, as well as in an open house forum in order to gain student feedback. Sherman also said they'll be working with the first-ever AMS focus group in order to gain more metricized student feedback.

“I think that will really give us strong feedback about what students are looking for in this plan,” he said.

Sherman added that they’ll have to work with the University’s Office of Advancement in order to raise funds for the rest of the project, but the administration was unable to answer whether the project is a priority before press deadline.

AMS president-elect Kanivanan Chinniah said recent efforts taken by the committee to receive consultation on the long-term plan is a “step in the right direction”.

Sherman said the long-term plan is meant to be the framework for the next 15 years.

“We want to make sure that [future capital investments] are in line with the vision that has been decided by students and that it meets students’ needs both now and in the future,” he said.

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