Hub of campus disrupted

For the next six to eight weeks, the Concourse at Wilfrid Laurier University will probably be a lot more crowded than usual. Last week the university began a construction project to fix a chimney on the roof of the building.

The chimney, which is directly above the online pick-up booth of the Laurier Bookstore, has been deteriorating and leaking. According to Michael Welk, acting manager of facilities operations at WLU, the chimney was about 50 to 60 years old and was in dire need of restoration.

“We have a contractor doing some restoration work to put it back into shape again,” said Welk. “It’s probably going to take 6-8 weeks.”

The Concourse is flooded with foot traffic everyday and the space is typically used for various demonstrations and booths. This week, in particular, is Campus Clubs Week, and the construction poses a problem for many students trying to pass through.

“It will have an impact [on foot traffic]. We’re trying to minimize the impact on that traffic because it’s such a heavily used space but we also need to make sure the work is done safely,” continued Welk.

The construction has affected the bookstore greatly. Along with the online-pick up no longer in operation because of the renovation, some of the store inside has been blocked off as well.

“It’s unfortunately blocking our window, but it’s necessary that they are fixing the chimney. It’s leaking, and we’ve had some leaks in the bookstore,” said Deb Da Costa, the manager of the bookstore.

According to Welk, the project will cost around $150,000, all funds coming from the physical resources budget.

After recently discovering leaks in and outside the bookstore, physical resources determined that it was the chimney and that’s why construction had to be done right away.

The bookstore, along with the rest of the university, will just have to deal with the construction. “It’s a little bit of a disruption but I recognize it’s important and it’s necessary. I think it’s eight weeks, so we’ll have to live it,” concluded Da Costa.

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