posted on Nov. 22: Arthur Bourns Building employee lounge open for business


The room is bright and airy, with giant poster board art on the walls.

It's filled with navy comfy couches, blonde wood tables, plants, a fridge, microwaves and a sleek, black computer. Rather than punch in numbers to a key pad, employees swipe a proximity card to get access to the room 24 hours a day.

Quite a change from the janitor's room with its mops and cleaners that constituted the lunchroom for physical plant co-workers Dora Bianchi and Jackie Emery.

The two women were guests attending a ribbon-cutting ceremony yesterday in the newly-refurbished employee lounge in the Arthur Bourns Building (ABB).

“This is nice and bright,” said Emery. “It's good to get away from the work area with the janitor supplies. You don't want to see that on your lunch hour. Here you get to meet new people, socialize. That's important. It's good for your health.”

The ABB lounge (Room 273) is the first designated employee lounge to be refurbished through an initiative that grew out of recommendations from the Employee Lounges Implementation Team. The team is one of four formed in February to work on recommendations from the staff survey. Click on New lounge space for employees in Arthur Bourns, Burke Science to read an earlier Daily News story about the lounges initiative.

Karen Belaire, vice-president administration, told yesterday's gathering that the ABB lounge improvement project is the “first of many.”

She thanked the employee lounge steering committee, led by Ingrid Ellis, for the work put into the lounge renovations and the physical plant projects team, led by Peter Whitaker, for the work that group did on the room.

Funding for the lounge is provided by the Offices of the Vice-President Administration and the Dean of Science.

“This is the first of what we see as improvements to lounges across campus,” said Belaire.

A new lounge is scheduled to open in the Burke Science Building next month and there are about 15 lounges on campus and at other McMaster locations that will eventually be refurbished.

Belaire noted the lounge has a suggestion box and she urged employees to pass on their views about the new room.

“We would appreciate your feedback. If there are things we can do to improve it, please let us know.”

Peter Sutherland, acting provost and vice-president academic, said he had been using the lounge sometimes twice a day during his 25-year tenure at the University.

“It's a great pleasure to see it restored to functionality,” he said.

Ceremony guests: (Front L to R) Dora Bianchi, Jackie Emery, Karen Belaire, Ingrid Ellis, Leah Allan, Sandra Sullivan, Mary Williams, Muriel McKay; (Back L to R) Peter Sutherland, Stephen Shurvin, David Kidney, Peter George.

Photo by Ron Scheffler