Oakham House gets a $115,000 facelift

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By Nadia Mohammad

Ryerson’s favourite watering hole and adjoining café are opening up this September with a spiffy new look worth $115,000.

After flooding damaged the Ram’s flooring, the Student Campus Centre (SCC) board of directors allotted approximately $75,000 to spruce up Oakham House Café and another $40,000 to repair and renovate the Ram in the Rye before frosh students crashed Gould Street for Ryerson’s Week of Welcome.

The project was paid for with the $30 levy that full-time students pay twice a year for SCC building costs and up keep.

Director of operations and services, Michael Verticchio, sits on the SCC board and thinks the renovations were necessary to keep the eateries student hotspots. And despite the hefty cost, Verticchio said the changes won’t be major.

“Generally, it’s the same bar and café, but they’re going to look a lot better,” he said.

The Ram’s walls have been covered by a deep red vinyl and the carpet has been replaced with hardwood-style tiles. Oakham Café now boasts a large serving bar, new fixtures and cabinets, a fresh coat of paint and improved booth seating with outlets for laptops. The walls are covered with parrot green vinyl. Verticchio is happy about the unconventional wall coverings.

“Vinyl is better looking and easier to maintain. When using paint, you have to paint every year. The vinyl should last about five years.”

Traditionally, August is the slowest month for food and liquor sales, Verticchio said. To minimize loss of sales, the bar and café underwent construction while the majority of students and staff were off campus.

Aside from the surface changes, a grab-and-go area has been added to Oakham, where students can buy a sandwich or coffee on the way to class.

Toby Whitfield, VP finance and services said that the café’s new area will be quick, easy and accessible.

Along with the renovations, Oakham has new breakfast selections and the Ram is introducing a new menu featuring vegetarian options among the new appetizers and main dishes.

Twin Contracting, hired by Campus Planning and Facilities to spearhead the project, is set to wrap up renovations just in time for Ryerson’s Week of Welcome on August 25th.

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