By Maurice Cacho
Associate News Editor
The halls are dimly lit, wiring snakes around power tools left motionless on the ground and the dark grey carpeting is covered in sawdust.
Crews are working feverishly to finish a building that was supposed to be ready for use in July.
The Heaslip House on Victoria Street will be home to the G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education in January. The $13-million building is the latest addition to Ryerson’s growing portfolio of new facilities. Looking out the building’s large windows to the west, one sees the new Bay Street business building.
The George Vari Engineering and Computing Centre is on the east side. Once the construction boarding is taken down, the 46,000-square-foot building with a capacity of 411 people will partially hang over Lake Devo. The doorway to Heaslip House is surrounded by a sculptured facade, which was originally a part of the O’Keefe Brewery’s executive offices constructed in 1938.
Director of Campus Planning and Facilities Ian Hamilton and Projects Manager Lawrence Quinn said they are proud the historic monument and the all-new structure were integrated into one. The building’s lobby is similar to that of the Student Campus Centre, with a second-floor elevator lounge opening up into the foyer below. Even with the lights switched off, the area is well lit. On the north side, reinforced glass windows and doors open up onto a patio that flanks Lake Devo.
Concrete benches provide a place for students, staff and faculty to lounge in the shade. In the evenings, this area will be well-lit thanks to bright lights underneath the Heaslip House. Floors two to six share a similar layout. Offices will line the western wall, and workstations will be housed in the remaining three quarters.
The seventh floor will contain a conference facility with a great view. The project has gone “slightly” over budget, said Hamilton, because the soil at the site would have provided an unstable foundation for the structure. “That was about the only wrinkle in this project,” said Hamilton. As a result, the soil had to be extracted and replaced, delaying the completion date and adding costs to the budget.
The Continuing Education administration, currently housed in Jorgenson Hall, Eric Palin Hall and 450 Yonge Street, will begin moving into the building Dec. 15.