Architects working on new business building

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By Nicole Cohen

An architect has been working for a year-and-a-half on a vision for a new business building.

Although the plan is still in its preliminary stages—no location has even been selected for a new facility—Ryerson administration says advance planning is crucial should government funding arise.

“In five or six years, there could be an opportunity to put together a new business building so we want to be ready for it,” said Ryerson president Claude Lajeunesse.

Mark Langridge, an architect at Roger du Toit Architects—a Toronto-based architecture firm—has been working with the business faculty to create a vision for an ideal business building.

We’re exploring issues and creating a list of spaces and sizes,” he said. “Right now it’s just words and statistics.”

Langridge is taking the business school’s electronic and digital advancements—laptop computer and distance education programs—into accounts. He’s also making space for a cafe, computer labs and a research centre.

“We’re basically looking at the unsatisfactory nature of existing accommodations,” he said.

When the faculty of business moved into the current building—a former O’Leefe brewery warehouse—in 1968, they expected it to be a temporary space for five years.

“The overall look [of the building] is not suitable for any credible business school,” said associate dean of business Lee Maguire. He would like to see a new eight-storey building erected between Bond and Victoria Streets. He envisions the new building having a third-floor archway to connect the business school to the rest of Ryerson.

A majority of the funding for the building would have to come from the provincial government. But that money has not yet come.

The faculty of business missed the boat when the government handed out SuperBuild funding in the spring of 2000, when Ryerson received money to build a centre for computer engineering, a centre for community health and a new building for graphic communication management.

Business was left out because a proposal for a new building was not ready in time, Lajeunesse said. This won’t be a problem next time because the design wheels are already in motion.


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