Photo: Alanna Rizza

Ongoing construction delays Kerr Hall Quad reopening

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By Rhea Singh

The university is asking students to stop sneaking onto the Quad—or else the central green space reopening will be delayed yet again.

Ryerson’s Kerr Hall Quad was supposed to reopen before school started in September. Instead, additional work is now expected to continue throughout the semester, according to Ryerson’s department of Facility Management and Development (FMD).

“When people move or climb over the fences to use the space before it’s ready, it causes damage and delays so we ask everyone to obey posted signs,” an FMD spokesperson said in a statement.

All renovations could be complete by November, at the earliest. That is, according to FMD, if students stay off the grass.

The university has hired additional security and installed cameras around the construction site, FMD said.

The original Quad renovation aimed to fix drainage issues in the Recreation and Athletics Centre (RAC), the gym underneath the green space. The plan has since been extended to improve accessibility in the northeast and northwest corners of the Quad.

So far, the FMD website states the sewer line and drain pipes have been repaired and repaving is complete.

Reseeding is underway and it will take as long as six weeks for the grass to settle, FMD said. Upgrades in accessibility, like replacing and upgrading doors, are slated to finish by November.

The project was supposed to begin in May but it was pushed to June. It ended up closing for restoration July 10.

Students told The Eye closed sections of the Quad have affected routine and daily activity for many.

Shany Raitsin, a second-year English student, said she understands some construction has to take place during the school year, but the temporary quad closure has been a real loss for students.

“It sucks that we can’t enjoy the Quad at its peak … I’m certainly not going to be lounging around in the snow trying to sunbathe when construction will presumably be over,” Raitsin said. “My only hope is that whatever they’re doing to the Quad benefits Ryerson students in the future.”

The Quad is a sacred space on campus, being rare a space on campus where students can get away from all the noise and hustle, she said.

Raitsin said navigating the maze that is Kerr Hall has also become even harder since trying to find an exit that isn’t blocked off due to construction is challenging. FMD said the university is constantly updating signage about walkways and access points to allow for safe entry and exit from Kerr Hall and the RAC.

Not only does the construction affect daily routine, third-year theatre production student Sasha Anderson said noise pollution accompanies it. “[Sometimes] we need to open the windows, but when I sit by them I can’t hear what my professor is saying due to the construction.”

While acknowledging students are affected by the renovations, Ryerson President Mohamed Lachemi said there was a real need for them.

“A lot of people were disappointed that during convocation time, the Quad was not open for activities,” Lachemi said.

However, the president said there have been drainage issues in the RAC, and unfortunately construction takes time.

“The centre part of the Quad is still closed because you have to give time for the grass really to grow… and you have to protect that part.”

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