Foot Patrol left without an office

The new Foot Patrol office will not be ready until Thanksgiving, as the original design approved by the Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union (WLUSU) did not reach fire code. In the meantime, Foot Patrol is currently operating out of the WLUSU boardrooms on the third floor of the Fred Nichols Campus Centre (FNCC) and is still dispatching from their original number.

“We had a design from an external company, and proceeded with the project as planned. As the design went through construction, one of the university officials who checks out fire code and other such regulations identified this space was not compliant with these regulations so we had to go back and make sure it was done [properly],”said Nick Gibson, president and CEO of WLUSU.

Gibson mentioned that the new space, which will be on the first floor of the FNCC, should be done by mid-October and the costs are still being worked out.
“It’s basically early in the project again,” said Gibson. “It is going to be more than what the original approach was, obviously given that it was started and hasn’t been finished. We will update as soon as the process moves on.”

WLUSU general manager Michael McMahon clarified, “There were no miscommunications; the designer didn’t go through an architect. WLUSU is glad to fix the problem rather than tear it down, it will result in more space and better integration with Foot Patrol to best fit their needs.”

Despite their lack of an office, Foot Patrol has a lot of plans for this fall and remains optimistic about their office being completed on time. The Cord spoke with Chandler Joliffe, Foot Patrol co-ordinator, for his thoughts on the situation.

“It’s a bit of a logistical inconvenience for us, to co-ordinate from somewhere else,” Joliffe said. “It’s hard to find a space that really suits the service well, so we’re going to be dispatching from the WLUSU boardroom up in the two-four lounge.”

“I mean obviously it’s a little frustrating,” Joliffe added. “But I think large-in-part it’s hard to put the blame in any one place. Just because the designs were done by a designer, and they went through the proper process within the school, but were not signed off by an architect it didn’t pass fire code.”

As a group of first-year international students circled through the two-four lounge looking for the Foot Patrol offices as part of a scavenger hunt, Jolliffe enjoyed the irony of Foot Patrol’s unfortunate situation.

“I can honestly say [promotions] are my biggest concern,” Jolliffe added. “It’s not [just] a logistical thing, we did a big overhaul of the service over the summer from scratch and basically rebuilt it. We got funding to get new radios and we replaced our radio system: we’re trying to start fresh, and because a big part of that is focused on promotions, it’ll be interesting if we try to do all this promoting when we don’t have our permanent office.”

In terms of the new location, Jolliffe was concerned about the size of the space but has been happy to be working with WLUSU to meet Foot Patrol’s needs.
“It’s definitely smaller than what we had, but thankfully I have been given a lot of input in the process over the summer and have been able to say ‘this doesn’t work for us, and this does,’” he said.

“So the office when it is finally built in the new design will more than meet our needs. It’s great, it’s just getting there first.”

Foot Patrol will be operating under the same number, 519-886 FOOT (3668), and students can visit them at their temporary location in the WLUSU boardroom and office area.

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