Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

September 04, 2001

U of G gets funding for facilities renewal

The University of Guelph has received a $6-million allocation from the provincial government to assist in facilities renewal, Brenda Elliott, MPP Guelph-Wellington, announced this morning. Projects supported by this funding include fire safety, classroom upgrades and improved accessibility for students with disabilities

The $6 million includes a $4.3-million allocation from the SuperBuild program for facilities renewal and a $1.7-million facilities renewal allocation from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities for the 2001-2002 fiscal year. “This funding will enhance the quality of life for the students, faculty and staff of the University of Guelph,” Elliott said during an announcement held at a new, barrier-free accessibility ramp funded by SuperBuild money that gives students with disabilities access to classrooms in Macdonald Hall. “We can all be proud of the accomplishments of this strong, vibrant, growing university.”

President Mordechai Rozanski said: “We laud the government for increasing its level of support for facilities renewal for this year. We are continuing to work toward our aspiration that all qualified and motivated students admitted to our university will have access. The SuperBuild funding is crucial to helping us meet that ideal by allowing us to undertake projects which improve physical access like the ramp we are highlighting today. We would like to encourage the government to continue to recognize the need to renew and expand facilities support in the future.”

Trudy Smit-Quosai of the Centre for Students with Disabilities added that the new ramp “will mean that students, staff and faculty who use wheelchairs or scooters can access the classroom easily and independently and through a direct rather than a back-door route.” Smit-Quosai also is a member of the Committee on Campus Accessibility, which completes or commissions campus audits of accessibility and makes recommendations on the prioritization of accessibility projects. “Classroom accessibility has always been a priority of the committee,” she said. “Macdonald Hall has presented an access problem for quite some time. With the funding available, the committee's recommendation for an improved ramp was carried out quickly.”

Other projects that are being supported by this latest round of facilities renewal funding include health and safety improvements across campus, upgrades to classrooms in the Animal Science and Nutrition and MacKinnon buildings, the expansion and replacement of equipment at the Central Utility Plant, asbestos removal, repairs to emergency utilities, heating and cooling work, roofing, road and sidewalk upgrades, and additional barrier-free access ramps. “This additional funding is most welcome,” said Nancy Sullivan, vice-president (finance and administration). “The University faces a backlog of facilities renewal worth an estimated $200 million.”

For media questions, contact: Communications and Public Affairs, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 3338.

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