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Outsiders revamp Bond St. building

By Nicole Cohen

A campus building that’s been empty for the past six years is getting a makeover at no cost to Ryerson.

Gespro Ontario Inc., the Toronto-based project management firm hired by the university to oversee the construction of three news SuperBuild buildings, is renovating the three-floor duplex at 112 Bond St. to use as office space.

Ryerson’s administration didn’t want to set up portable trailers on campus to use as project offices, so it offered Gespro space in the unused building.

Ian Hamilton, director of campus planning, said Ryerson has no use for the building.

“This is a good deal for us,” Hamilton said. “At no cost to Ryerson they are taking a building we’re not using and fixing it up.”

Gespro wouldn’t say how much money it’s putting into the renovations. The firm is covering all the costs to gut and renovate the interior of their new offices. The hardwood flooring on all three levels is being restored and bathrooms are being renovated.

Ryerson is only paying to install electric baseboard heating.

Currently, Gespro has four people working out of a small office in 111 Bond St., the building that houses security and campus planning. The firm plans to bring in its own office equipment once renovations are complete at the end of November.

Ryerson is planning to build three new buildings on campus by 2003 to accommodate the influx of Grade 13 and OAC students graduating at the same time. A building for the school of graphic communications management is planned for the parking lot on Bond Street behind O’Keefe House, a new centre for computing and engineering is planned for the parking lot on the corner of Church and Gould Streets and a centre for studies in community health is planned as an addition to the top of Eric Palin Hall.

When the construction of the new buildings is finished and Gespro moves out, Ryerson will assess its need for space, said Linda Grayson, Ryerson’s v.p. administration and student affairs.

Hamilton said the Bond Street building will most likely be used as offices for Ryerson faculty and staff.

For 35 years, 112-114 Bond St. housed the main offices for the early childhood education program.

But ECE moved to Kerr Hall in 1994, leaving the building empty.

Since then, Ryerson has used the building for storage because it isn’t wheelchair accessible — the building doesn’t have elevators and each floor has different levels without ramps.

Grayson said if Ryerson was to use the building for office space or classes, they might as well tear it down and rebuild on the property. “We would love to use it,” Grayson said. “We just don’t have the money or capacity to take on more than we’ve done at the moment.”

Hamilton is glad Ryerson has one less expense to worry about.

“At least it’s an opportunity to save money.”

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