Building plan stalls

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By Jordan Press

The scheduled 2005 opening date for a new business building may be in jeopardy following the collapse of the Bay Street plan.

Adam Kahan, vice-president of university advancement, said it was tough to determine the new timeline for the building. The university is considering a number of areas.

“Everything is back as an option,” he said.

Ryerson is looking for an area large enough to house all four business schools. The Bay Street building would have accomplished that goal but talks fell through because the proposed deal was more than Ryerson could afford.

While Kahan would not provide the numbers, the cost of 777 Bay St. exceeded the $60 million budget that the board of governors approved last August. The budget for the project has not changed.

Kahan wouldn’t say if the options Ryerson is looking at are on or off campus.

This was a blow to business students who were hoping to finally get a new building after nearly 40 years of waiting, commerce Society president Dave MacLean said.

“We’re just upset that we’re not going to get a new building for a while,” he said. “Maybe they do have contingency plans, but it feels like we’re being hosed again, as usual.”

Originally, the business school settled into the old O’Keefe Brewery building with the understanding that it would only last five years. That was in 1967.

Kahan said that Ryerson’s research prior to the Bay Street plan would help in deciding on a new location. He also said there may have been options Ryerson hasn’t looked at yet.

One idea that came up last February had the parking lot on Victoria Street being demolished and building a facility in place of it.

That idea fell apart in the summer when Ryerson only received $12.5 million from the provincial government. Administration had asked for $40 million.

Building on Bay Street had it advantages, but there were also some concerns.

“The upside is maybe — and this is a big maybe — that we will have a building closer to campus,” MacLean said. “Other than that, I don’t see a whole lot of upside.”

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