posted on Nov. 2: Multimedia wing construction delayed


[img_inline align=”right” src=””]Construction of the new $800,000 multimedia wing is delayed about two weeks because the structural steel hasn't arrived.

Last month the wooden fencing went up around the area, atop the present site of the School of Graduate Studies in Togo Salmon Hall, where the second floor addition is to be built. The roof has been demolished.

The next step is to erect the structural steel that will form the bones of the new wing.

The work was slated to begin this week but was postponed.
“The steel has not arrived,” said Ed Owen, field supervisor for new projects. “It's delayed until Nov. 9. We've opened the roof because we expected it to come.”

Owen is keeping his fingers crossed the dry autumn weather lasts a few more weeks.

He said the completion date for the project has been pushed into mid-February because of the setback.

“We're getting into the bad weather. It's going to slow it down until at least February.”

The structural work delay means major construction on the site is temporarily halted.

“Without it we can't move,” said Owen. “That's the bones of the structure.”

Once the structural steel is in place, pre-cast work will commence with the roof and interior work to follow.

The 4,000-sq. foot addition is an extension of the Faculty of Humanities' computing lab and will house a new open-concept computer lab for the multimedia program.

Geoffrey Rockwell, assistant to the dean on humanities computing, said the space is designed to be flexible and accessible 24 hours a day.

The lab will be organized using clusters of computers in U-shaped areas or “virtual labs,” said Rockwell, an associate professor in the School of Art, Drama & Music.

“We want to keep it open and flexible,” he said. “We want it to have a peek-over, listen-in sort of feel. There is a virtue to letting students listen in to what's happening in other courses as long as it's not distracting.”

The new wing will help the Faculty meet the needs of the popular multimedia program as well as an anticipated increase in University students during the next few years.

The Board of Governors recently approved a recommendation by President Peter George to name the new area the Anne and Neil McArthur Humanities Multimedia Wing.

Construction of the new wing is being funded through the University's operating budget and private donations.