Construction creates a challenge for new students

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By Alexandra Holyk

After the first week of classes, new students at Ryerson are still struggling to get to classes amidst the construction across campus.   

The goal of the Campus Core Revitalization 2019 project—which is a partnership between the City of Toronto and Ryerson—is to create a more accessible outdoor space, ensure better infrastructure and prioritize the safety of students and community members. 

In a website post, Ryerson said the area will become a pedestrian-only zone, as they level the roadway with the sidewalk, and add two accessible entrances at Nelson Mandela Walk.

However, since construction began on March 27, students are finding it difficult to navigate the campus while trying to get to their classes on time. In particular, some first-year students have struggled to find their way, as they adapt to their new environment. 

Jyoti Ruparell, a first-year graphic communications management student, recently moved from Alberta. She said she has found it difficult to find her classes while avoiding Gould Street.

“Walking between buildings was the hardest…I entered the quad and my friend and I were turning in circles trying to figure out which building was which,” she said.

Trevor Carter, a first-year student from B.C., said he found it difficult to locate Gould Street because of the revitalization. “I didn’t know [Gould Street] was an actual street because it was just one big construction site…and then I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s the construction site.’”

Finding alternative routes has made some students uncomfortable, including first-year child and youth care student, Kimberly Dias. She says she would rather walk within campus to get to her classes.

 “I just don’t have to worry as much if I’m walking on campus about getting cat-called or [having] someone reach into my purse,” she added.

To help combat confusion, the university placed volunteers at various transit locations and main intersections during orientation week to help guide students around the campus. 

Now that classes have begun, maps are available to students on the Campus Core Revitalization project’s website and physical copies are available in the The Sheldon & Tracy Levy Student Learning Centre and at the university’s security office.

Although the project team put up signs to direct people to key destinations, students like Ruparell said they’re “pretty much useless.”

“We held extensive consultations with the Ryerson community in advance of the construction to determine needs and [how] to proactively address issues,” said Janet Hercz, executive director of business operations and space planning at Ryerson’s facilities department. 

The project is expected to be finished by the end of the semester. 

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