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MacKimmie Tower offices to relocate later this year

By Scott Strasser, January 31 2017 —

Roughly 600 people at the University of Calgary will soon find themselves in different office spaces.

As part of the U of C’s redevelopment plans for the MacKimmie complex, offices located in the MacKimmie Tower will relocate this summer.

Many of the offices will move to the SMART building in the U of C’s Research Park, while others will remain on the main campus. Groups based in the MacKimmie Block — the lower part of the complex — will not be affected by the relocations.

Offices that will move to the SMART building include Research Services and Finance and Human Resources.

Information Technology staff currently in the Math Sciences building will also move to the SMART building, with the exception of the IT Service Centre.

The Graduate Studies office, the Graduate Students’ Association, the Postdoctoral Program, the Welcome Centre and the Integrated Service Centre will move to either the Math Sciences building, the Earth Sciences building or ICT.

“Our priority is to accommodate student-related services first and foremost on the main campus,” U of C associate vice-president facilities development Boris Dragicevic said. “Campus Planning worked closely with stakeholders in the affected areas to determine which areas need to stay on campus and which ones can move off campus.” 

According to Dragicevic, the relocation effort will address some of the U of C’s deferred maintenance and space issues. The U of C’s deferred maintenance bill is currently an estimated $490 million.

“Once completed, the project will provide a re-energized central hub of improved and new classrooms, centralized undergraduate and graduate student services, renewed and new student study space and much needed academic space right in the heart of our campus,” Dragicevic said.

Graduate Students’ Association president Sam Hossack said her office has known about the relocations for about a year.

“The building is going to be renovated and all the offices in MacKimmie Tower have known about this for nearly a year,” she said. “It is a very complex process and the university is keeping us informed every step of the way.”

In April 2016, the provincial government announced they would provide the U of C with $17.2 million over two years towards a redevelopment plan for the MacKimmie complex and the Professional Faculties building. The funding is intended for review, planning and design of the complex.

Government funding for the MacKimmie Tower redevelopment was long-awaited by the U of C. The tower’s top seven floors have been barred from public access since 2013 due to building code concerns. Problems with the building’s envelope have also caused roof leaks.

“Once everyone has moved out of the tower, we’ll continue the planning and investigation work in preparation for construction,” Dragicevic said.   

The MacKimmie complex is one of the oldest buildings on campus. The lower block was originally constructed in 1963 and the tower was built in 1972.

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