Science A has been under construction since fall 2011 to increase the building’s capacity. The construction has been an inconvenience for University of Calgary students as Science A provided an indoor passageway to the west side of campus, connecting MacEwan Student Centre and Science Theatres.
The first phase was set to be complete by the end of the fall 2012 semester. According to director of campus planning Jon Greggs, the passageway will be open to students by the end of January 2013. The construction will be complete by the 2013 spring semester. The cost for construction is estimated at $14.75 million.
“It’s always been a fairly intensely used building with biology and chemistry laboratories, as well as some general purpose instruction space,” said Greggs. “Fundamentally, it’s been well-used, but buildings get old and tired and they need renewal, so that was one of the drivers. The other driver was, in the short term, to generate general use instruction space classrooms with added capacity.”
Greggs said the faculty of science is in need of more classrooms and overall space. When Science A, which was initially opened in the 1960s, is completed, it will have new upgrades to meet the needs of science students.
“The current work that’s going to be finished fairly soon is adding two new staircases, a new elevator, new and expanded washrooms and . . . we end up with 11 new classrooms,” said Greggs. “The overall scheme for Science A is actually to make the building bigger.”
First-year U of C history and education student Henry Lung said he has been confused about the closed route.
“I find it annoying as a first-year student, especially trying to get used to getting to classes and stuff. It kind of sucks knowing that one of the really, really convenient routes is always closed,” said Lung. “There’s too much construction going on, mirroring the rest of Calgary, and it feels counter-productive sometimes.”
A new floor will be added in phase two.