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Students moving into new building

(January 13, 2000, Gazette)

Leigh Borden in the new food court

Photo by Chris Hammond

By Jean Graham

The largest moving operation the St. John’s campus has seen in years is more or less on schedule. As student leaders and staff get used to their new premises in the University Centre, students are finding their way around the new building.

While the University Centre might appear far from finished to some (and indeed many current occupants of the Thomson Student Centre don’t anticipate making the final move until as late as March or April), Carson Leonard, acting Dean of Student Affairs, says the building will be finished and everyone in their new “homes” by the end of January.

It may seem unlikely, but if the University Bookstore is any example, miracles can and do happen. On Monday of this week, manager Bob Hickey (although admittedly somewhat red-eyed from several 16-hour days in the past week) was supervising a smoothly-running operation.

“I have to give all credit to the staff here, both regular and student staff,” he said. “If it weren’t for them, it would never have happened. But here we are — all set up, the new computer system is working well, and everything’s going as it should.”

Mr. Hickey noted also that the bookstore received an enormous helping hand from Facilities Management staff, who have been helping with the moving as well as their regular duties.

If you’re the sort who keeps track of trivia, you should note that the very first customer checking out books in the new bookstore was Rolene Pryor.

The new building is bright and spacious. Even if the pay phones aren’t installed and you still have to be wary of wet paint in some areas, users will find great improvements. The Student Health facilities are a big step up from their former space in a temporary building, for example, and the Glenn Roy Blundon Centre has expanded to include tutorial rooms.

Mr. Leonard is particularly happy with the large wicket on the third floor, right next to the skywalk that links with the Earth Sciences Building.

This is the new home of General Student Services, formerly on the second floor of the TSC. It’s a “first line drop in centre,” he explained, where students can take many of their questions on scholarships, orientation, off-campus housing, student aid, liquor licenses, lockers, IDs, emergency loans, and a host of other things.

“It simplifies the whole process for the student of accessing student services,” he explained. “Detailed questions about scholarships, for example, might be referred to Student Development (on the fourth floor) but by and large, this wicket is where they will start.”

Construction on the new building started in September of 1997, with planning having started about two years previous to that.
Mr. Leonard noted that “It was always planned to move in here now (i.e. January 2000), so we can say we’re definitely on schedule.”

Aidan Kiernan, associate director of Facilities Management was quick to add, “And on budget. We’ve never had a project go over budget, and this new student centre is no exception.”

 Still in the TSC:
1. Mr. Sub
2. Mrs. Vanelli’s
4. Dairy Queen
5. Post Office
6. Travel Cuts
7. Student societies
8. Campus Pharmacy
9. Cameramun
10. CSU Copy Centre
11. Student Recruitment & Promotion (note: not sure where moving or when)
12. China Kitchen (note: will not be moving to new building)

In the new building:
1st floor:
— Breezeway
— The Vault

2nd floor:
— MUNSU offices
— the muse offices
— bookstore

3rd floor:
— Treats (in Food court)
— General Student Services

4th floor:
Student Development, including scholarships & awards, and out-of-province loans.
— Glenn Roy Blundon Centre
— Student Health
— Employment Centre
— Wellness Education
— Student Volunteer Bureau
— Chaplaincy

5th floor:
Career Planning Centre
Counselling Centre

Moved from TSC to Hatcher House: International Student Advisor