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Thursday, April 12, 2001

  • Construction plans for two buildings
  • Talking about the double cohort
  • Staff positions available this week
  • Good Friday and a long weekend

[Boxes and boxes]
By the thousand: Heidi Lenz, a staff member at the Federation of Students used book store, sorts leftovers from the recent Canadian Federation of University Women book sale. The books, mixed and boxed, are on sale at 25 cents apiece on the lower level of the Student Life Centre.

Construction plans for two buildings

A ground-breaking ceremony for UW's third-biggest building is tentatively planned for April 30, Nancy Heide of the community relations office said yesterday.

It's the long-awaited Centre for Environmental and Information Technology, which is going on the site of parking lot B1. The project is to be built by BFC Buildings Group, which has won a $28.3 million construction contract, approved by UW's board of governors last week.

The board also approved a contract for the addition to the now-renamed Engineering Lecture Hall: $5.0 million worth of work by Vanbots Construction.

"We are slightly over budget," vice-president (administration and finance) Dennis Huber told the board of governors. A table presented to the board showed that the excess is about $2.4 million.

It also showed that UW is expected to come up with $18 million in private sector funds to match the government grants for these two buildings and provide a "maintenance endowment" for them. So far $6.4 million has been raised, leaving $11.6 million to be found.

A report from the board's building and properties committee briefly described the two projects:

"The CEIT will be constructed on the existing B1 parking lot (north of the Physics building) and will provide facilities for Science, Engineering, Mathematics, and Environmental Studies. The 169,000 square foot facility will link with the Physics building, the Davis Centre, and the Earth Sciences & Chemistry building. The team of architects includes Shore Tilbe Irwin & Partners, Teeple Architect Inc. and Joe Somfay Architect. Construction is anticipated to commence immediately with occupancy planned for the summer of 2003. . . .

The name of the building

Believe it or not, there's been another change to the officially announced new name for the "submarine" building. The donor who's helping pay for the building's expansion is J. R. Coutts, not R. J. Coutts as a previous announcement would have suggested. So J. R. Coutts Engineering Lecture Hall it is. The official abbreviation is to be RCH, for "Rod" and "Coutts" and "Hall".
"The addition to the J. R. Coutts Engineering Lecture Hall will be constructed on top of the existing Engineering Lecture building and will provide seven new classrooms with a seating capacity of 700. Construction of the 26,200 square foot facility negates the necessity of replacing the failed roof on the existing structure thereby avoiding approximately $700,000 in maintenance costs. The architects for the project, Shore Tilbe Irwin & Partners, were the architects when the building was originally constructed in 1966. Construction is expected to commence immediately resulting in the lower portion of the building being taken out of service during the summer but made operational again by September. Occupancy is planned for the summer of 2002."

Talking about the double cohort

Students hoping to get into university in 2003, when the "double cohort" will surge out of Ontario high schools, might be well advised to take a year off, UW's director of admissions said yesterday.

"It might be a better bet to apply for 2004 than for 2003," said Peter Burroughs, speaking to a noontime audience that included many parents of teenagers. His talk was organized by UW's employee assistance program and nearly filled a lecture room in the Davis Centre.

"Take a year off. Take two years off! Maybe work, travel, take some courses . . . hello, grade 13!"

The first students to complete high school under the new four-year curriculum are expected to graduate in June 2003, at the same time as the last cohort finishing under the old, five-year curriculum.

During the question period, members of his audience said some high schools seem to be advising students to do exactly that, while other people are being told that a five-year high school career is no longer a possibility under the new curriculum, which is supposed to move a student to graduation after grade 12 rather than the present "grade 13" or "OAC" year.

Certainly the Ontario government seems to expect that students can be ready for university in four years, Burroughs acknowledged. "I think the ministry is going to say, we're trying to save some money here!"

He described efforts being made at Ontario's universities to make room for the extra students who will be at their doors in 2003 and, if they take his advice, also in 2004. "Some universities will double their enrolment," he predicted. "There is capacity at some campuses." On the other hand, UW -- limited by such factors as how many co-op jobs can be found -- is planning to expand by only about 15 per cent.

From the current 4,060 new students each September, UW will jump temporarily to 4,694 in 2003 and 4,801 in 2004. If the biggest bulge does come in 2003, students who wait to 2004 will certainly have a better chance of being admitted to the programs they want. "The average requirements in 2004 will go down," said Burroughs.

Other possibilities include universities outside Ontario, where recruitment offices are welcoming the double cohort as a way of boosting enrolment. "For students to get what they want, they're going to have to go out of province in highly competitive programs," he said emphatically.

Other advice for parents? "Try and keep your sons and daughters motivated. We'll be admitting the very top students."

Staff positions available this week

For reasons unknown, the Positions Available list that appeared in yesterday's Gazette was last week's rather than the current one. So here's a summary of the correct list of positions: And then there are some temporary or casual positions: Full position descriptions can be seen on the human resources department's web site.

"Those interested in applying for an available position," says HR, "are invited to call Human Resources at extension 2524 for more information or are welcome to visit during regular working hours to view a detailed job description. Human Resources is located in the General Services Complex, Room 130. . . .

"The university welcomes and encourages applications from the designated employment equity groups: visible minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and aboriginal people. For more information call: University of Waterloo 885-1211 ext. 2524."

Thursday notes

Even before the holiday, the UW Shop in South Campus Hall is offering a discount today on Easter merchandise -- "chocolate, toys, plush rabbits, Easter figurines".

And the University Club is offering an Easter buffet today, with 11:30 and 1:30 seatings (reservations, ext. 3801).

Tonight, the Heritage Resources Centre offers the second in its series of workshops on urban poverty. The speaker is Lea Porter, author of A Cambridge Journal: Stories from the Food Bank; the workshop starts at 7 p.m. at Kitchener City Hall.

Good Friday and a long weekend

Tomorrow, April 13, is Good Friday and a holiday, bringing UW a long weekend. University offices and most services will be closed tomorrow, and no exams are scheduled. Of course some key services continue as always: The libraries will be open limited hours tomorrow: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Dana Porter Library and the Davis Centre library (circulation services 1 to 5 p.m.); 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the University Map and Design library. The libraries will be open their normal hours on Saturday and Sunday.

Quite apart from being a holiday weekend, this season is a solemn and exciting time for practising Christians, commemorating as it does the crucifixion (on Good Friday) and resurrection (on Easter Sunday) of Jesus of Nazareth. Special services will be taking place UW's Renison College (Anglican) and St. Jerome's College (Roman Catholic) as they are at places of worship around the world:

And the congregations will hear such texts as the words of Luke (chapter 24, verse 5): "Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen."


Editor of the Daily Bulletin: Chris Redmond
Information and Public Affairs, University of Waterloo
credmond@uwaterloo.ca | (519) 888-4567 ext. 3004
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Copyright © 2001 University of Waterloo