Thursday, January 30, 2003
UW chancellor Val O'Donovan chats with Cambridge MP Janko Peric at an event in the Tiger Brand building celebrating federal funding for the project (May 2002).
The project, more than a year in the making, would see the school relocate from its on-campus location to a century-old factory building between Melville Street and the Grand River in the historic downtown Galt section of Cambridge. The building offers some 85,000 square feet -- four times the space that the architecture school currently has in Environmental Studies II.
The site is variously known as the "Riverside Silk Mills" and "Tiger Brand" building, for its occupants in the days when textiles were a huge industry in what's now Cambridge. The building has stood empty since 2000, and is to be redeveloped with money from federal and provincial governments, the city of Cambridge, and a private sector group calling itself the "Cambridge Consortium" that's working to rejuvenate the Galt core.
At Tuesday's board of governors meeting, Ian McPhee, chair of the board's building and properties committee, will bring a motion "That the Board of Governors approve the University of Waterloo's School of Architecture relocation to the former Riverside Silk Mills' Melville Street facility in Cambridge, with a budget of $27.2M."
McPhee's report provides this background:
|Location of Cambridge site|
"Of this budget, $21.2 million represented the estimated costs to acquire the property, remediate the soil, renovate and furnish the building, and establish an operating/maintenance endowment. The remaining $6 million was for an 'enhancement endowment,' the income from which would be used for operating the School and enhancing its programmes.
"To date, UW has secured $14.6 million of funding from the City of Cambridge, and the federal and provincial governments; pledges of $7.3 million have also been received. This leaves a difference between the funding/pledges and the original estimate of $5.3 million which can be narrowed by a number of actions including deferring acquisition of new workstation furniture ($1.2 million) along with other discretionary components of the original plan, and creating a revenue stream from rental of ground floor space to third parties (~$100,000 annually). At the very least, these two actions would reduce the funding shortfall to $4 million.
"Fundraising prospects currently in cultivation are anticipated to yield approximately $6 million. The University believes approval of the project now will be viewed as an expression of confidence and will facilitate fundraising.
"In the very unlikely event that fundraising did not produce a single additional dollar, the cost to the University would be $250,000 per annum until such time as the funds were raised. This is a manageable exposure in the context of the total financial position of the University."
Of interest on the web
"Professor Cairns has devoted a long, highly distinguished career to helping students and citizens understand Canada, including federalism and particularly Aboriginal issues," said Graham Brown, principal of St. Paul's United College, where the Knowles professorship is based. "We anticipate a thought-provoking and insightful look into the relationship between Canada and the First Nations."
The professorship was launched in 1996 with donations from supporters, including Robert Kerr, retired president and chief executive officer of IMAX Corp., a global entertainment enterprise. The professorship honours the late Stanley Knowles, who served 41 years as a federal parliamentarian.
Born in nearby Galt, now part of Cambridge, Cairns has spent more than 40 years providing analysis, insight and perspective of Canada's political, economic and social environments. He is a visiting professor in UW's political science department, and was the speaker for last year's Faculty of Arts Lecture. Cairns is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and an Officer of the Order of Canada.
His recent teaching and research interests have focused on Canadian federalism and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, along with Aboriginal issues. In his lecture, Cairns will build on his latest book, titled Citizen Plus: Aboriginal Peoples and the Canadian State, published in 2000.
The talk begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Humanities Theatre. For free tickets, call 885-1465 ext. 201.
Now speaking of department chairs: let it be put on record that Bill Chesney is acting chair of the department of drama and speech communication, January 1 through April 30, 2003. The regular chair, Jill Tomasson Goodwin, is on leave for this term. "She will return to the post in May," says Chesney, "and continue as Chair until the end of December. then, all going according to plan, I will take over as Chair."
Here's an interesting note from Jeanette Nugent in the graduate studies office: "Scandinavian countries have a high per capita rate of top quality, fully-funded students who choose to pursue all or part of their education abroad, making it a market with great potential for Canadian universities in particular. I will be participating in the Canadian Education Centre outreach program in Sweden, Finland and Norway during the first two weeks of February. I will be representing UW at events to recruit graduate and undergraduate students and networking with education officials to discuss possible academic links. The Canadian Education Centre has organized a series of outreach activities at schools in Stockholm, Helsinki and Oslo for Canadian colleges and universities to promote their programs. I will also represent UW at the Norway International Education and Career Fair, held in Oslo February 12-15."
Also interesting is a letter that appeared in the November-December issue of the faculty association's Forum newsletter, raising the issue of "ethical investment" of UW's $700 million pension fund. Alastair Farrugia, who's a graduate student in combinatorics and optimization, draws special attention to such firms as Rio Tinto ("heavily criticised for its environmental and human rights record") and Talisman ("controversy surrounding its operations in Sudan"), and suggests that UW establish investment criteria to exclude certain companies. "The Federation of Students and the Church Colleges," he writes, "do have such criteria for their own investments of a couple of million dollars; the University's much larger fund does not."
On this breathtakingly cold day, the Engineers Without Borders conference continues (in fact as I shivered into the Humanities building, the lobby was packed solid with borderless engineers urgently trying to get to the coffee). . . . A blood donor clinic continues, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., in the Student Life Centre. . . . The Jewish Student Association will hold a bagel brunch from 11:00 to 1:00 in the clubs area of the Student Life Centre. . . .
Federation of Students leadership candidates are on the campaign trail, with balloting set for February 7-12. There's supposed to be a candidates' forum today, somewhere in the science part of campus, but the Feds' web site is still listing it as "time and location TBA".
Chilled water will be turned off in the Physics building all day today, as work is done on ventilation equipment. . . . The school of optometry presents a seminar by Per Söderberg of Sweden's Karolinska Institute, speaking on "Towards Better Safety Standards for Avoidance of Ultraviolet Radiation Cataract", 12:30 p.m. in Optometry room 347. . . .
Anybody interested in knowing more about World University Service of Canada, an agency "to foster human development and global understanding through education and training", is invited to a meeting at 5 p.m. at Wilfrid Laurier University (Arts building room 2C3). . . . The Computer Science Club presents a talk "on sed (Unix stream editor) and awk (programming language)" at 6:30 tonight in Math and Computer room 1085. . . . Waterloo-India Linkage and the Spiritual Heritage Education Network present a talk tonight by physician Neil Arya, on the topic of "Spirituality, Health and Activism" (7:00, Math and Computer room 4021). . . .
As we approach the Chinese new year, the Bon Appetit cafeteria in the Davis Centre is offering a new year's lunch today. Tomorrow, the University Club has a similar event (reservations, ext. 3801). And the big party of the season is set for Saturday night in South Campus Hall, sponsored by the Chinese Students and Scholars Association. I'll say a bit more tomorrow about this "spring festival".
The Student services office sponsors an information session on housing tonight from 8:00 to 10:00 in Student Life Centre room 2034. "Some of the topics covered," writes student life assistant Karyne Velez, include "where to find housing on and off campus; what to look out for when choosing a place to stay (leaky roofs, types of heating); your rights and responsibilities as a renter; what you landlord can and can't do."
I have here an announcement of the Waterloo Pizza Eating Reading Club, "to promote intellectual discussion among graduate students and professors. Once a month, members will meet at the Grad House and have pizza while talking about a book that was read." The first meeting is set for tomorrow -- Thursday -- at 12 noon, and the book of the month is Emotional Intelligence in Everyday Life. More information is available from Chris Sarkar, a psychology graduate student, e-mail casarkar@watarts.
A note from the registrar's office: "Undergraduate students can now view their spring 2003 class enrolment appointments in Quest. Class enrolment appointments run from March 3 to 29 and open enrolment begins March 31." (Meanwhile, "pick your plan week" is March 3-7 -- students who need to select or change a major, or add a minor or option, should fill out the appropriate form by then.)
Finally, I should note that this winter's big job fair, sponsored by UW and other post-secondary institutions, is scheduled for next Wednesday, February 5, at RIM Park in Waterloo. In preparation for it, there's a career services workshop today, starting at 2:30, under the title "Make the Job Fair Work for You".