New UC floor not coming until January 2011

With the University Centre renovation project still in the early stages after unforeseen issues with the concrete sub-floor underneath the old tiles, students and staff at the University of Manitoba have had to navigate over wooden slats that currently act as flooring.

University administrators say this is all going to change after the holiday break.

The large wooden enclosures littered around University Centre are actually part of the construction’s method for taking core samples, according to Pat Reid, director of Ancillary Services.

These samples are being used to test the strength of the sub-floor and give the project manager, Ben Paul, a better idea of how to remove it.

The current flooring will still be here when the snow falls. The plan is to cover the flooring with anti-slip rugs to prevent accidents and absorb excess water, according to Reid.

When asked about the contingency plan for if the removal of the sub-floor goes beyond the holiday break, Reid told the Manitoban: “The contingency would be to get it done.”

“I’m pretty sure they’re confident they can get it done before the January back to school.”

Associate vice-president (administration) Alan Simms explained that the sub-floor has to be removed before any other construction can take place. This removal requires jackhammering and will create airborne dust, which necessitates it be done outside of the school year.

The completion date for re-pouring the sub-floor is Jan. 4. The installation of the new tile will occur through January 2011, likely on weekends.

“This will create a smooth and level walking surface and will mean that we do not need plywood cover,” said Simms.

When asked if the delay in the completion of the project was due to budget constraints at the university, Simms was adamant that this was solely a health and safety concern.

Despite the delays, he remained optimistic about the new floor

“It will greatly enhance the student experience in University Centre and ensure that the high traffic areas of University Centre endure for a long time to come.”

Some students on campus were not impressed with the progress on the renovations so far.

Bonni McCallison, a student in the faculty of arts, felt that the project was an indication of the university’s lack of planning.

“Well they’re always behind, on everything. That’s what seems to be the progress on campus, as far as any kind of renovation goes.”