Fine arts students at the University of Calgary may temporarily find themselves without academic spaces on campus.
Plans for the Taylor Family Digital Library place it in the current location of Craigie Hall C, which houses dance, music and drama programs. The new building will require demolition of many areas including the Boris-Roubakine Recital Hall, two drama studios, the home of Nickel and Dime Theatre and many fine arts offices.
Despite the inconvenience, the planning board and administration say they are trying to keep students in mind.
"Space is being given square foot for square foot back to the faculty," said U of C Students' Union fine arts faculty representative Teri Cameron. "We were able to make a wish list of what we need in the space and more."
Cameron added that the board is committed to consulting with students and other faculty representatives throughout the planning and construction process. Despite this commitment, only vague plans have been made for where
the fine arts students will go in the interim.
The project-scheduled to break ground in mid-April-will run diagonally from the Mackimmie Library Tower towards Craigie Hall and act as a principle passageway between the north and south ends of campus.
"There is going to be a passage going underground in the new construction," said Tom Hickerson, vice-provost (library and cultural resources) and university librarian. "It's going to make transportation through this area very easy.
It's going to be beautiful."
Hickerson said while the shape of the building is largely completed, the planning committee is only at 66 per cent schematic in terms of knowing what and where all the spaces will be.
"It's really a positive thing for the faculty," said Cameron. "They have a lot of great plans and we're getting out of the basement, which is definitely good."
Though nothing is finalized, the university projects that the Taylor Family Digital Library and Taylor Quadrangle, a green space spanning from the Library Block to the Kinesiology Complex, will be completed by Fall 2009.
The plans still need to be approved by the board of governers. They will also be subject to feasibility study to be compleated by February.
"It has to go through Mike McAdam," said Laurie Drukier, campus infrastructure communications advisor. "It has to go through the board and it may have to go through the government. We don't know because we've never done this before."
Drukier added that campus planning has already talked to some of the occupants of Craigie Hall C.
"Students are definitely anxious about what this means to their space," Drukier said. "We're not just coming in with sledge hammers and knocking people out of the way."