The University of Calgary Students' Union has approved $100,000 of quality initiative money towards the on-going renovation in the Social Sciences walkway.
The renovation is the first of the U of C's Take Your Place initiative, and will see the hallway between SS and the Administration Building get a big face-lift. The project aims to renovate 40 student spaces around campus in honour of the U of C's 40th anniversary this year. The plan is for each space to be funded through individual donations from members of the community.
At the Tue., Mar. 21 Students' Legislative Council meeting where the decision was made, SU law faculty representative Kent Breedlove said the SS hallway will be primarily a joint venture between the SU and the U of C Alumni Association, with each organization fronting $100,000. The remaining costs of the $450,000 project will be picked up by private donors and various departmental budgets, said Breedlove.
Though SLC eventually passed the motion to approve the money by a 10-4 vote, some members were firmly opposed to the project, claiming a lack of information and rushed timeline. The timeline was strained because the U of C wants to open the space by April with a high-profile ribbon-cutting, said Breedlove.
"$100,000 is a pretty big surprise," said external commissioner Michael Soron. "In the end, it's a plaque we're buying."
Breedlove disagreed, arguing that it is important for the SU to publicly support the project.
"This project is going to be built whether we put up the money or not," he said. "We'd be dumb not to support this."
Take Your Place is initially aiming to renovate the SS walkway, the seating area beside Coyote Jack's in Science B and the common lounges in residence halls Rundle and Kananaskis.
Environmental design students will also be involved in designing the first four chosen spaces working with Stantec architect Craig Ainsworth.
The SU vote occurred while president Bryan West, vice-president external Jen Smith and VP Operations and Finance Joel Lockwood were absent.