Redevelopment of JDUC up for vote Jan. 17-18

Students presented with second opportunity to vote on redevelopment

Construction for the JDUC is slated for completion in 2022.
Supplied by AMS Communications

Through online voting Jan. 17 to 18, Queen’s students will have the opportunity to vote for the redevelopment of the JDUC—or to vote against it again.

In an email released to Queen’s students on Jan. 9 by AMS Vice-President (University Affairs) Munro Watters, the new model for the JDUC’s redevelopment was presented.

“The JDUC is in desperate need of improvement,” Watters wrote. “It you’ve spent any time there, its deficiencies become self-evident: it’s inaccessible, unsustainable, and does not fulfill modern student needs.”

Last February, the AMS attempted to push the JDUC’s redevelopment through with an $89 fee that passed with SGPS voters but narrowly missed the mark from undergraduate voters. As stated in the Feb. 13, 2018 AMS press release, 51.1 per cent of students voted against the redevelopment.

Then-Society President Jennifer Li released a statement recognizing the small margin and sought to continue consultation in hopes of understanding the undergraduate voting pattern in that year’s referendum.

Now almost a year later, the fee structure and design of the JDUC have been reworked to allow for a more financially accessibly project for students to fund.

“After last year's referendum campaign failed to secure support by a narrow margin, we went back to the drawing board and committed ourselves to listening,” AMS Director of Communications Rachael Heleniak told The Journal in a statement. “We have tried to improve the proposed JDUC Project by clarifying the core objectives, reducing the student fee, and incorporating the extensive student feedback we received into the conceptual design.”

Instead of $89, the current AMS Executive has pushed for a fee schedule that will ultimately contribute $26 million to the project and 41.1 per cent of its total contribution, according to the JDUC redevelopment website.

Student financial aid is also available, according to Heleniak, who estimated that at least 500 students could receive aid over the life of the project. She added the AMS employed professional architects and “utilized the thousands of student engagements [they’ve] had to envision a bold, beautiful, and functional JDUC.”

The rest of the funds will result from a $3.4 million contribution from graduate students through their SGPS fee, $11.8 million in cash contributions and $22 million of financing support from the University.

The fee structure for student contribution won’t remain linear, however. The proposed schedule will have students pay $40 for the first two years of collection, increasing to $73.92 in the fee’s third year in 2021-22.

The website indicates construction is scheduled to be finished by 2022.

The new JDUC Redevelopment Project website includes proposed images for the construction and floor plans to map out the potential locations of AMS services such as QP and P&CC. 

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