Rye bids for new business building

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By Sheri Shefa

Ryerson has bid on a site for a new business building, a university source said.

With the university’s self-imposed deadline of opening a new business building by September 2005, time is running out to find a home for the almost 6,000 business students at Ryerson.

Adam Kahan, vice president of university advancement, denied that Ryerson has placed a bid on a site. He also could not guarantee whether the deadline will be met, but said he will know soon if September 2005 is a realistic objective.

“We are moving as quickly as is feasible to do,” he said.

Ryerson President Claude Lajeunesse would neither deny nor confirm Ryerson has placed a bid and refused to guarantee a new building in less than two years.

But he reassured business students he’ll do his best to meet the deadline.

“I can tell the business students we are working extremely hard to get an agreement — the best possible agreement that meets our needs, and meets our budget requirements, and our timeline,” Lajeunesse said.

Despite this, Dave MacLean, RyeSAC president-elect and a business student, is skeptical his faculty will have a new building by September 2005. Business students have been waiting for a new home since 1972.

“I’d be really impressed if they [the Board of Governors] made the deadline,” he said.

MacLean has not been told anything about the developments and admits the Board of Governors is being discreet.

“They’re being low-key. They either don’t have anything going on right now or they’re not talking about it.”

MacLean said the situation is desperate because there are plans to expand the arts program and give the current business building to the arts students.

As a business student, he worries that if Ryerson doesn’t get a new building by 2005, current students along with the increased enrolment expected for future years will be forced into Kerr Hall or stay in a building that “has mice running around,” which they’ve called home for more than 30 years.

With a $60 million budget set aside by the Board of Governors, Ryerson hopes to find a building that would house all four business schools and reduce class sizes.

Last October, Ryerson nearly got 777 Bay St. as the new home for business students. The deal fell through when the building’s price tag was more than what Ryerson was willing to pay.

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