Exam Centre still a priority even after delay

The Exam Centre will join the Health and Wellness Centre in the former PEC

The former Physical Education Centre (PEC).

With the former Physical Education Centre (PEC) identified as the future home of Health, Counselling and Disability Services (HCDS), the University hopes to make progress on the delayed Exam Centre project.

The PEC was officially identified as the new location for (HCDS) on June 26. The space will be renovated and renamed the Health and Wellness Centre to host HCDS after its many years in the LaSalle Building.

The Exam Centre — which was among the 116 recommendations made in 2012 by the Principal’s Commission on Mental Health, along with the Health and Wellness Centre — will provide a space to manage tests and exams for students who require special accommodations.

It will also be located in the PEC, although the space and renovations required have not been confirmed.

“With the former Physical Education Centre (PEC) site now identified as a future home for student wellness services, we have the opportunity to plan for the Exam Centre as part of the project to ensure the best coordinated services for students,” Ann Tierney, vice-provost and dean of student affairs, told The Journal in an email.

Tierney is a member of the Provost’s Advisory Committee on Mental Health (PACMH). The committee has been tasked with overseeing the implementation of recommendations made by the 2012 Principal’s Commission report.

The PACMH’s June 2014 report set the 2014/2015 academic year as the target date for creating the Exam Centre.  

In PACMH’s most recent report, which was presented to Senate in May, they confirmed that the project has been delayed.

“The original target identified by the Committee was ambitious,” Tierney wrote. However, she told The Journal that the University has upgraded the hardware and software for accommodating exams in Gordon Hall this past year. 

According to Tierney, the Office of the University Registrar has begun to recruit for an Assistant Registrar, Special Projects. One of the assistant registrar’s first priorities will be developing a business case and model for an Exam Centre.

According to the 2015 PACMH report, the target for developing a business case is the coming 2015-16 academic year. Renovations are scheduled for the 2016-17 academic year.

“The university is not yet sure how much funding will be needed for the PEC project as [a] whole,” Deputy Provost Laeeque Daneshmend told The Journal in an email.

“Given the university’s current financial situation, strong support will be needed to fund the project, and we are hopeful that this use of existing space will allow us to realize our goals sooner than if we were to construct a new building,” he wrote.

Daneshmend said it’s too early to know how much construction will be necessary, but he confirmed that the former PEC won’t be torn down.

The 2015 PACMH report gives 2016-17 as the target implementation date for the Health and Wellness Centre, but Daneshmend couldn’t confirm the timeline. 

“While it is difficult to say exactly how long establishing the centre will take, planning work is underway,” he said. 

“As the planned revitalization of the former Physical Education Centre proceeds, a target date will be set.”

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