By JOSHUA VAN OSTRAND
The Doon campus rec centre, still heavily under construction, is set to finally open to the student body on Feb. 22, according to Mike Dinning, vice-president of student affairs at the college. Unfortunately, the whole building won’t open all at once.
“The gymnasium will open later,” said Dinning. “The reason being that while construction was going on, the construction crew found issues with the paint in the ceiling and so we had to do a remediation and sandblast the entire ceiling. What it’s done is put that part of the project back about eight or 10 weeks – but we’re going to open up the new glass part, which is about 35,000 square feet, and then the last part will open up later in the semester.”
“I’m excited for the renovations to finish,” said Jacob Martin, a second-year journalism broadcast student. “I’m a second-year student though, so I probably won’t get to use it but if it’s going to be finished on time, I’ll probably use it as much as possible.”
Conestoga Students Inc. and college administration want to make sure that students are excited about the renovations and the opening.
“We are going to do a major promotion to students over social media to let them know about the 22nd and get them there to look at it,” said Dinning.
“We’ve had to do it in three phases because in total, a project like this often takes up to 20 months.”
Dinning wants to assure students that the next part of the rec centre, including lounges, fitness equipment and a Pita Pit, will be opening on Feb. 22.
“We decided to open up the Monday that the break is over so that we’re ready to operate and that construction is out of the place,” said Dinning.
“I think students are really going to be pleased when it opens,” he added. “Why should Conestoga students have second-best? I think you’re going to find that this facility will be competitive with any facility at any post-secondary institution in the province. I think our students are getting first-best.”
The $16-million project is funded by CSI as well as development fees paid by students each semester. It was first expected to be completed by September 2015, then December 2015.