posted on July 4: New lounge space for employees in Arthur Bourns, Burke Science


Still missing that lounge you liked in the basement of the Arthur Bourns Building or, years ago, on the second floor? Well, here's some good news for employees who once enjoyed these facilities — the large room on the second floor (Room 273) will be converted back into an employee lounge.

Karen Belaire, vice-president administration, says the Leadership
Committee for the Staff Survey implementation has fully endorsed a
proposal from the Employee Lounges Implementation Team to restore lounge space in the Arthur Bourns Building and to create new, dedicated lounge space for employees in the Burke Science Building.

“As everyone knows, space on campus is at a premium, so finding adequate lounge space is not easy. But we understand that it is important for employees to have areas dedicated for their use and enjoyment. Restoring and creating this lounge space in Bourns and Burke Science will, we are certain, help to strengthen our community by creating an environment for increased communication and by addressing important concerns expressed by employees,” says Belaire.

The lounges in ABB were popular gathering places for faculty and staff
alike. They were lost a few years ago, to the disappointment of many,
with the conversion of one space to a testing centre and the other to
accommodate the expansion of the Faculty of Engineering's computing &
software engineering programs. The relocation this year of the
engineering programs to the newly restored T-16 Building means at least some of this space will be restored as a staff lounge.

The lounge on the second floor of the Burke Science Building (Room 238) has, to date, been a catered facility used mostly by students. (It is closed from May to Aug. 31.) But there is ample space to create a small, dedicated employee lounge at the west end. A partition will
separate the two lounges and employees will have their own access to
the dedicated space. A number of employees based in the Burke Science Building were involved in advising the lounges team on this and other scenarios for the facility.

Funding for these two lounges is being provided by the Offices of the
Vice-President Administration and the Dean of Science.

The proposal for designated employee lounge space in the two buildings
was put forward by the Employee Lounges Implementation Team. The team is one of four formed in February to address a number of recommendations resulting from the Staff Survey. The lounges team has conducted a space audit to determine other locations for employee lounges and/or deficiencies in existing employee lounges.

Team members have included Leah Allan, Linda Axford (resource person)
Pat Bilan, Mina Dizdarevic, Ingrid Ellis (chair), Diane Goodwin, David
Kidney (mentor/member Leadership Committee), Bill Lowe, Deanna Maerz,
Muriel McKay, Stephen Shurvin, Gord Slater and Nancy Waite. Human Resources project facilitator Jason Cole and lead consultant Peter Turner have also supported the team.

“We're pleased the Leadership Team has accepted our proposal and has
found funding for these two lounges,” says Ellis. “While our work as a
committee is not yet done, this news is very encouraging. It's a
positive step forward for staff.”

A ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of the ABB lounge is planned for September. The lounge in Burke Science is scheduled for
completion by the end of October.