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Mathison Hall re-construction is here for the long haul

By Ramiro Bustamante Torres, May 2 2024—

As the semester comes to an end, it seems that the University of Calgary’s endless construction is not. Many students had found a jungle gym of scaffolding in the middle of the newly built Mathison Hall. It had left them wondering what had incurred the sudden apparition and what it would mean as they lost workspace during the busy season. In an interview with the Gauntlet, the lead architect of the reconstruction team Sam McCain shed some more light on what is going on.

“What students are aware of is that the [U of C] is in a contract per building to have a reconstruction period of five years after each building is opened. We have just entered that period for Mathison Hall,” said McCain. “It’s not publicly announced to avoid student complaints towards the university for agreeing to such a clause whenever a building is made.”

McCain went on to say that during this five-year period, Mathison Hall is going to be an inconvenience to students and “no amount of planning could have avoided this situation.” When asked about what type of reconstruction and renovations are underway, she stated a major restoration of the inside roof of the building.

“Yes, I really mean restoration. When the plans were made, there was no vision for the roof and what purpose it would provide other than being a roof,” said McCain. “Now that we have data of students using the building we noticed the giant space and have laid out more concrete ideas for what can go there.” 

Two main ideas were put forward by the reconstruction team state McCain. The first idea involved more columns, which she stated would offer students a labyrinth-like experience as they try to find their way around the building but feel like dead ends are everywhere to engage their problem-solving skills. The second idea involved emulating a spider’s nest.

“Students don’t stick around much on campus so hopefully this creates a subconscious reaction in them to feel like a spider has trapped them in,” she said. “It will also act as public art if we go ahead with this idea.”

McCain did not want to comment further since they are still in the initial stages of reconstruction and those plans may change on her whim. She did share that students are still allowed to go through the building and some of the rooms and amenities are still open. She shared that the team hopes that the plethora of scaffolding should not deter students from coming by but still should keep their distance. 

“Please bear with us as we enter this reconstruction period, we promise this is the only five-year-long project for this building,” said McCain in a final statement.

To know more about when the reconstruction is over, be on the lookout for when the scaffolding is removed or just avoid the building until a friend tells you that it’s done.

This article is part of our fake news humour section.

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