New rez behind schedule

Construction of the dining centre in Brock University’s new Ernie Lowenberger residence will not be fully completed until early October says Brock University President David Atkinson.
Nestled snug between the Village residence and Welch Hall, the new multi-story building has been taking shape for more than a year. It is part of the extensive construction plan Brock has implemented during the past few years in anticipation of the double cohort of students arriving this September.
Atkinson explains that the inordinately cold and snowy weather this past winter prevented the construction firm Gespro from staying on schedule, adding, “you can’t pour concrete when it’s snowing.”
Scott Walker, head of Brock University’s Physical Plant, concurs with Atkinson’s reasoning for the delay, saying the extreme amount of snow and rain experienced by Brock this past winter could not have been forseen by either the construction firm or the university administration.
Both Atkinson and Walker insist that the Lowenberger residence will be open for students by Labour Day weekend, though both refused to acknowledge whether the university had a contingency plan in place in the event of further delays. Atkinson asserts that he does not want to needlessly alarm students, and that he has had assurances from Gespro that aside from the dining center, everything will be completed on time.
However, Jamie Fleming, Brock’s Director of Residences and Conference Services, says the administration does in fact have a contingency plan.
Fleming explains, “We are not supposed to go public with the contingency plans, but suffice it to say, we will look after our students.”
Pressed further, Fleming reveals that the contingency plan would involve housing students in local hotels until construction is completed.
Students moving into the Lowenberger residence do not have to be concerned about noise from the dining construction says Fleming.
“Noise will not be an issue, the dining centre space will be sealed off and by the time students move in August only the interiors of the center will be left to be completed.”
Construction of the residence began in early 2002, and when completed the complex will house 312 students. The price tag of the new residence was initially estimated at $18 million, but Fleming acknowledges that due to the delays cost overruns may occur.
“The delays may add to the cost, but we don’t have final figures yet,” he says.
Fleming adds that Gespro will not be penalized for the delays, as they were caused by events over which the firm had no control.

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