posted on April 18: McMaster University Student Centre likely to open in January


The new McMaster University Student Centre (MUSC) will now likely open in January 2002.

The $34 million building — funded mainly by past, present and future students — was originally supposed to be completed by Aug. 31, 2001. However, progress on the building has been slower than expected and it is not likely to be finished until later in the fall term.

Construction of the centre was off to a slow start when rain impeded excavation in spring 2000. Contractor Ryco-Alberici has stated that they continued to face challenges throughout the summer and fall when a boom in the Ontario construction industry caused a shortage of skilled labour and material delivery problems.

The contractor will “continue to work overtime on weekends with [their] forces as required to achieve the completion dates as best possible,” said Mark Crump, project manager for Ryco-Alberici.

John Farrell, MUSC's project manager, acknowledges that Ryco-Alberici understands the importance of the MUSC project to the campus and is working to minimize the impact of a delayed completion.

One option being explored by the project team is the possibility of partial occupancy of the building so that the main floor can be open as soon as possible. The main floor of MUSC consists of a marche-style food court, three retail operations, the McMaster Students Union's (MSU) convenience store and information desk, a coffee kiosk and a fireside lounge.

A more specific target for the centre's opening date will be published in the summer once the building has been closed in and interior work begins.

The project consists of a new 140,000 square foot, three-storey building and renovations to the adjoining Gilmour Hall. MUSC will be the new home of many of the university's student service departments and MSU operations and services.

More information about MUSC, including floor plans of the building, can be found on the centre's Web site at
University Centre.