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Jeff Mills

MacHall mediation period extended until March 24

By Kate Jacobson, March 21 2016 —

The University of Calgary and its Students’ Union have agreed to extend their mediation over the MacHall ownership dispute a second time. The mediation period, which expired today, was extended just three days until March 24 at 5:00 p.m., indicating the two sides may be close to an agreement.

The fight over the U of C’s student centre was headed to court until both parties agreed to mediation on Dec. 4, 2015. The original mediation period began on Jan. 18, 2016 and was initially extended on Feb. 26.

“This demonstrates the continued commitment by both parties to come to a fair and equitable agreement that recognizes the investment of both parties in MacHall,” reads a statement on the university’s website.

After years of negotiations on the building’s operating agreement stalled, the SU made its ownership dispute with the university public in September of last year. The two sides fought publicly over the content of the agreement, which was set to expire on Dec. 9, 2015. The SU eventually sued the university over the building’s ownership.

University administration originally planned to take over the operation and certain revenues from the building when the current agreement expired. The SU was seeking a court-ordered injunction to prevent this, but the two sides agreed to mediation just hours before the hearing was scheduled to take place.

The SU will continue to operate the building under the terms of the 1999 operating agreement.

Both the university and the SU have agreed to not speak publicly about the subject matter of the mediation until it has concluded.

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