Students frustrated over Hazel McCallion Campus delay

BY JESSICA PALUMBO

Students are growing more frustrated with the delay of phase two of Sheridan’s Hazel McCallion Campus.

The expansion was originally planned to open in September, with the date being pushed to January.

“Everything under Sheridan’s control is on track,” said associate vice-president of corporate planning, André Plante. “Classroom furniture and audio visual equipment are being installed and will be ready for January. Moves for faculties and staff are planned for mid-December.”

The expansion is to include state-of-the-art classrooms, studios, labs and production spaces, a centre for creative thinking, and a gallery to showcase students’ creativity and innovation according to the Sheridan website. Although not all of the HMC2 campus will be completely finished for January.

“Some public areas may require more work. The HMC2 cafeteria for example will not be open for January,” Plante said.

“It’s a huge disappointment to not be moving to this new building on time,” said fourth-year Sheridan Interior Design student Brianna Didone. “And now knowing the building isn’t even 100 per cent reliable for the new semester coming in January. I wouldn’t even be surprised if they told me we weren’t moving there at all.”

The students affected by the delay were given a bursary of $500 to compensate for the inconvenience and Sheridan has implemented a free shuttle bus service to try to make the commute easier on students.

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An e-mail Sheridan students received in regard to the HMC delay.

Some students, who moved to Mississauga in anticipation of the campus being ready, do not think the measures Sheridan has taken are enough.

“The $500 Sheridan offered us doesn’t even come close to covering one month’s additional costs that we now have to pay regularly,” fourth-year Interior Design student, Catrina Sallese, said. “The whole reason we decided to move to Mississauga and pay a little bit more in rent was because we truly believed it would benefit us in that it would make our final year at Sheridan more comfortable and convenient allowing us to focus on our thesis.”

“The builder was responsible for the building construction process and timeline. Sheridan on numerous occasions warned the builder that they were getting behind on their schedule. The builder, until the very end, believed they would catch up and therefore didn’t put significant new resources to the project and unfortunately missed their deadline,” Plante said. “The construction company must pay significant interest on their loan and repay direct costs related to the delay.”

The new space will accommodate an additional 3,200 full-time students for a total enrolment at HMC of approximately 5,500.

“We have been attending classes behind the school in the conference centre where we are not allowed to eat or drink in the space, due to the fact that we’re renting it from the school. Our studios at the Oakville campus were already designated to new programs so we were forced to move to a temporary space,” Didone said.

“This entire situation has affected our grades, our overall health and the debt that we will carry after we graduate,” Sallese said. “For lack of a better word, I feel completely screwed over.”

Sheridan will have an official opening for the HMC2 campus in March.

 

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