Goodman professor speaks out about expansion construction inconveniences

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The expansion of the Goodman School of Business building has been an ongoing and prominent discussion topic on campus. The whirlwind construction has provided the Brock community with several shiny new classrooms and a spacious engagement atrium, among other amenities designed to improve student life on-campus. The student perspective on this expansion has been explored in depth, from frustrating detours to eager anticipation of improved lecture spaces. Some students even lament that they will graduate or have already left Brock before making use of the new facilities. However, the perspective of the professors who must navigate the construction in the work spaces remains largely unheard.

Among the benefits of the expansion, professors and instructors are expected to receive a total of 5, 000 square feet of additional teaching space and six new classrooms as a result of the construction. The project, costing over $20 million, aims to renovate the building, which was initially constructed in 1990.

A Goodman professor, who requested to remain anonymous, henceforth nicknamed Professor Doe, highlighted both the positive and negative effects on the staff that call the Goodman School of Business building, formerly Taro Hall, home.

Some professors and instructors have seen their offices relocated throughout the construction, with some of these changes occurring very recently. This has led to notes in syllabi about the changes, to-be-determined locations for office hours, and pleas to reach out via email or after lecture should there be any difficulty finding temporary office locations. In April, the university announced 24 new office changes, relocating staff members, the undergraduate club office, storage and photocopying on April 26. Some of these staff members have had to relocate again since that announcement. A complete faculty and staff office directory for those in Goodman can be found online on Brock’s Goodman expansion blog, posted Sept. 7. The directory will be valid until November 5, 2018.

Professor Doe noted other disruptions, including washrooms in the building.

“They opened up the fourth floor washrooms this summer for only a few weeks and then shut them down again. The women’s washroom on the fourth floor is once again out of service,” said Professor Doe. While a small detail compared to the vast vision of the new Goodman School of Business, this is representative of the minor inconveniences that make work more difficult for instructors who must navigate between floors to find working washrooms.

Another disruption that has ‘led to some inconvenience,’ according to Professor Doe, has been the patchy elevator status. For a campus striving for improved accessibility, this has a significant impact on staff and students who require elevator access, as they must find new routes to lecture halls and offices — some of which are not reached by other elevators. While the Goodman expansion blog posts updates about services affected by construction, some may still have questions or concerns. These people are encouraged to email Janet Muenzberger at jmuenzber@brocku.ca, or call either Muenzberger or Lesley Owen, at extensions 5017 and 5949 respectively.

Earlier in the expansion efforts, other professors and staff members had voiced frustration with the omnipresent construction sounds plaguing the building. While professors and other staff do not openly complain about the expansion, these remarks show the inconveniences they face in an environment that is rapidly changing due to construction, inconveniences they hesitate to speak about for fear of presenting the construction in a negative light. Many of the staff members affected by the construction stand with the administration organizing the expansion overall, though they do lament the inconveniences it has caused in their work life and for the student population.

Professor Doe is hopeful that the expansion will be worth the growing pains.

“I am very excited for the new classrooms.  I think they’ve done a beautiful job with the renovations and I am optimistic about the future offices,” said Professor Doe. According to Brock’s facilities management website, all existing offices in the Goodman School of Business will be enlarged, or will receive new fixtures and flooring.

Ultimately, Professor Doe acknowledges that sacrifices must be made in the interest of progress.

“Of course there’s been some short term disruption which is to be expected but overall I am excited to see where this is going,” said Professor Doe in a closing remark.

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