Redevelopment claims Banana

By Bonnie Leung

MacEwan Student Centre redevelopment plans will be completed by the end of March to mid-April, according to the University of Calgary Students’ Union.

SU Vice-president Operations and Finance Amanda Affonso says many changes have been made in MSC, using the $245,000 allocated for the renovations.

"Travel Cuts has been moved right across from Max’s," she said. "And that [Travel Cuts’ new space] should be done by Mar. 4. The Bookstore got approval to expand space. They’re working on a design."

The card shop Seasons was also moved from across the Bookstore to the former Blue Banana Lounge to aid in the building of a staircase.

"[Seasons] is just in the lounge temporarily," said SU President Rob South. "It may be moved in with the university Bookstore."
Seasons does not take up the full space of the Blue Banana Lounge, however, which was closed because of redevelopment.

The Blue Banana Lounge previously held a Friday band event for students. SU VP Events Jared Lorenz says he’s sad to lose the venue now that the Lounge has been removed.

"It was perhaps my favourite SU event and it’s really unfortunate that it had to be lost for redevelopment to continue," he said. "It was a great venue for cultivating new talent and bringing unique acts to students that probably wouldn’t have a chance to see them."

In spite of the loss of the Blue Banana, Affonso believes the positive aspects of redevelopment outweigh the negatives.

"I think redevelopment has more benefit for students than the loss of the Blue Banana Lounge," said Affonso, who added that kiosks in the food court are already ahead of schedule.

"The construction company is very fast," she said. "[The kiosks] will be opening in the spring. University Food Services would like a grand opening at the beginning of the semester."

The SU is also looking into building club offices in MSC right outside Council Chambers, said Affonso.

"[The clubs] will have access to the meeting rooms and will be closer to the SU office," said Affonso.

Students’ reaction to redevelopment has been mixed.

"I like the fact that [Seasons] is bigger so I don’t get the feeling I’m knocking things over with my bag," said third-year General Studies student Natalie Gude.

Other students are upset.

"I think it’s a bummer," said fourth-year Engineering student Dave Sudlow. "They won’t have the bands on Friday [in the Blue Banana Lounge]."