After a slow summer, the MacEwan Student Centre third-floor redevelopment is finally back on track. Despite a promising start in April, the project was delayed by the removal of hazardous asbestos, a saturated construction market, and specific issues to the new occupants--CJSW, NUTV and the Multi-Faith Prayer Room and Chapel.
According to Students' Union Project Manager Karrie Horner, the construction has been delayed mostly due to its complexities. Not only does the space need to be built, but primary services like ventilation, plumbing and electricity must be addressed as well.
"We have started with architects and a general contractor and they have produced the drawings for the space, and they are currently under tender," said Horner, adding once the bidding process has ended, it will only be a short time before spaces are complete.
However, SU Vice-President Operations and Finance Joel Lockwood said that since the university is in charge of installation and upgrades of primary services and the removal of the asbestos, the SU has had little to no control over the pace of work. Despite the delay, the university's contractors are now working overtime to make up lost time.
The construction has also been hindered by Calgary's saturated construction market, according to both Lockwood and Horner. The saturation has resulted in limited availability of workers and a severe shortage of construction materials.
For the campus' Muslim community, the delayed opening will mean that the Multi-Faith Prayer Room will not be ready in time for the start of Ramadan. However, Lockwood stressed the space is not designed to accommodate a large event like Ramadan. Space in the Shirley Annastasia Robertson lounge, the Ballroom and Mac Hall will be used instead.
Despite these delays, all parties involved are optimistic the project will be completed soon, and not only will the prayer space be completed, but CJSW and NUTV will have a new home.
"I would be disappointed if the space didn't move forward," said Horner.
Horner expects the prayer space to be complete in eight to 10 weeks.