Rye launches building spree

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By Wojtek Dabrowski

Ryerson president Claude Lajeunesse wore a white hard hat and carried a shovel as he thanked the university community Tuesday for helping garner millions of dollars to construct three new buildings on campus.

About 250 staff, faculty and students came out to the Commons in Jorgenson Hall (A250) to chow down on cake, drink coffee and listen to Lajeunesse praise the Ontario government’s SuperBuild initiative—an injection of $742-million into university and college that will see the equivalent of seven postsecondary institutions the size of Queen’s University built by 2003. The money will come from the government and private donations universities must attract.

Ryerson plans to use the money for three new buildings to accommodate the influx of students expected in 2003 when grade 12 and OAC students graduate at the same time. In total, space for 3,350 new students is planned at Ryerson.

The biggest project will make room for 2,400 extra students in computer science and computer and electrical engineering. The $65-million centre for computering and engineering will be built on the parking lot at Church and Gould street with $31.5-million coming from a SuperBuild grant. The rest will come from Ryerson and private donations.

A centre for graphics communication management is planned to add 400 new student spots at a cost of $10.15-million with $4.15-million coming from the government and the rest from private contributions.

The third project is a partnership with George Brown College to build a centre for studies in community health to make room for 1,075 students. That project will get $13.38-million from the province, leaving the two schools to raise the remaining $6.37-million.

Meanwhile, Lajeunesse tipped the construction hat on his head, saying Ryerson needs to move quickly to meet the 2003 deadline. “We have  a lot of work to do.”

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