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Thursday, April 6, 2006

  • Green roofs figure in new buildings
  • Student mourned, and other notes
  • And still more, as exams begin
Chris Redmond

Tartan Day

[Building on six levels]

This sketch of what the Quantum-Nano Centre might look like was among pictures shown to the board of governors on Tuesday.

Green roofs figure in new buildings

UW's board of governors gave approval Tuesday to progress on four planned buildings. Here's a roundup:

Approval was given to "the conceptual design" for what's now being called the Quantum-Nano Centre. It's a big building -- about 250,000 square feet, almost as big as the Davis Centre -- to be shared by the nanotechnology engineering program and the Institute for Quantum Computing. The official construction budget is $70 million, although provost Amit Chakma told the board it's becoming clear that that won't be enough. "We'll come back to you with a business plan," he promised.

The building is going on a site north of Biology II, and will be linked at upper levels to both that building and Math and Computer. There will still be outdoor pathways at ground level on both sides of the building. It's to be five stories high, and organized as two main pieces: a narrow east-west block on the north side, mostly for IQC, and a squarish southern piece, mostly for nano.

It'll be "the most sophisticated building ever built on campus", said vice-president (administration and finance) Dennis Huber. Among its features: two atriums, a "green" roof, a cantilevered wing pointing toward the ring road (as pictured above), and main entrances for IQC (on the ring road side) and nano (facing Chemistry II).

The board approved almost $8 million in construction contracts for early work on the School of Pharmacy building in downtown Kitchener -- ranging from $175,000 for paving to $4.4 million for concrete formwork. Total construction budget for that project is $34 million.

The board also got a progress report on the complicated legal transaction that's moving ownership of the land, at King and Victoria Streets, from its present owner -- heirs of the defunct Epton plant -- to the city of Kitchener, and from the city to UW. Consulting engineers will need to review the most recent findings about pollutants on the property, and give their okay, before construction work can start, a report from the building and properties committee told the board.

Approval was given to build an addition to the PAS (Psychology, Anthropology and Sociology) building to house graduate student offices. The estimated cost: $4 million, which the faculty of arts will find from its operating budget. Such space is desperately needed if the arts faculty is to expand its enrolment at the graduate level, dean Bob Kerton said.

The wing will be attached to PAS pointing north, towards Environmental Studies II and behind the Humanities building. The board gave approval for hiring an architectural and engineering consultant to work on the project, and was told that it will review the animal facilities on the ground floor of PAS at the same time.

Finally, the board approved the "conceptual design" for the School of Accountancy wing that will be added to Hagey Hall of the Humanities pointing toward the Tatham Centre. That project is budgeted at $10 million, about half of it coming from Campaign Waterloo fund-raising and half from revenue that the accounting school will receive from higher-than-average tuition fees.

Planned is a three-storey building with "a significant number of classrooms" as well as offices and "a partial green roof". A tentative floor plan shows a 200-seat amphitheatre as well as smaller lecture halls, and entrances facing north, south, east and west to encourage "pedestrian movement around and through the building".


Student mourned, and other notes

Katharine Marshall (right), a second-year psychology student, died Monday of injuries she suffered the previous day in a crash on a rural road in Wellington County. Marshall was driving back to campus from her family home in Fergus when her car collided with a bus. Family members told the Record this week that she was "a deeply caring person", whose interests included her recent co-op job working with adults with developmental disabilities. "The day she died," the paper reported, "36 friends clustered into her room, surrounding her with their love in death as they did in life." She is survived by her parents, John and Nancy Marshall, and her brother, David, who is a student in economics. Visitation is today from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 at the Graham A. Giddy Funeral Home in Fergus; a memorial service will be held Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Alma Bible Church in the village of Alma. Memorial donations are suggested to the Conestoga Bible Camp or the Toronto General Research Institute for work in transplant research.

Author, geneticist and environmentalist David Suzuki will hit campus April 25 on "the final tour of his distinguished career", talking about his work and reading from his new autobiography. His talk is scheduled for 7 p.m. in the Humanities Theatre. The bookstore, which is sponsoring the visit with the support of the environmental studies faculty and various other agencies, said yesterday that tickets are sold out (they were priced at $5). Now on sale: $2 tickets for seats in an overflow room, Arts Lecture Hall room 116, where the talk can be seen live on video. Proceeds go to the David Suzuki Foundation; tickets are available at the bookstore and at the Humanities box office.

Today's the final day for the Graduate Student Research Conference, in which more than 150 of UW's grads have been presenting their work. Talks today, in two amphitheatres in the Davis Centre, include "Fatigue Crack Growth Prediction for 4340 Steel" (Amir Noroozi, mechanical engineering), "Production of Soy Protein Isolates by Membrane Ultrafiltration" (Jana Skorepova, chemical engineering), and "The Changing Role of the Chaplaincy in the Canadian Military" (Joanne Benham Rennick, religious studies). The day winds up with the presentation of conference awards at the Graduate House, starting at 4:00.

At Tuesday's meeting of the UW board of governors, president David Johnston reported briefly on the progress of Campaign Waterloo, which is seeking to raise $350 million for the university, up from its original $260 million goal. At last count, he said, $308 million in cash and pledges had come to the university, and staff and volunteers are still talking to many potential donors. One piece of the campaign is Keystone, involving faculty, staff and retirees, and Johnston said it's now just 82 people short of its goal: 2,007 donors by the time things wind up in 2007.

Turning to other matters, Johnston told the board that a cheque for $50 million arrived from the Ontario government on March 31 -- the last day of the government fiscal year -- fulfilling its announcement of a massive grant for the Institute for Quantum Computing. (Officials "got it right into interest-bearing accounts", the president added.) He said there is still keen interest in attracting similar support from the federal level of government, something that had been promised during the winter election campaign by Liberal prime minister Paul Martin. Representatives of the Toronto Region Research Alliance, in which UW is deeply involved, met a few days ago with officials of the new Conservative government, Johnston said. There's hope that federal grants will eventually come, not just for IQC but for the Perimeter Institute and other Toronto-area research megaprojects.

It's the final day for the show of artworks by the fine arts graduating class, in the East Campus Hall gallery. . . . A total of 6,536 students have been offered September admission to UW so far, registrar Ken Lavigne said this week, and that figure will go up sharply when engineering starts sending out offers in the next few days. . . . The co-op department says 159 students ended up jobless for the winter work term, out of 4,790 who were scheduled for co-op employment between January and April. . . .

And still more, as exams begin

Today's the first day of winter term exams, which will run through April 22. (No exams are scheduled on the April 14-15 Easter weekend.) Some students who are finishing up the term now will start all over again in the first week of May, as the spring term gets under way, but most either are graduating or will be back in September. The registrar's office has just posted word about enrolment in fall term classes: enrolment appointments will be posted on Quest on May 11, and appointments themselves will begin June 12. Enrolment for new students starts July 17, and open enrolment -- for those who missed their appointments or changed their minds -- will begin July 31.

Yesterday I mentioned the announcement that Wednesday night was being advertised as "the last Bomber Wednesday", doubtless a sad occasion for habitues of the Bombshelter pub in the Student Life Centre. "This is actually a vaguely significant 'last Bomber Wednesday'," a student reader promptly informed me, "as the Bomber will be closed until September for some rather drastic renovations. Makes one wonder where lazy students will be willing to trek to for drinks this summer." No comment.

Psychology colloquium: Debbie Moskowitz, McGill University, "Quarrelsomeness in Daily Life", 10 a.m., PAS room 1229. Also a brief talk Friday 10 a.m. (PAS room 3026) on "Organization of Dominant and Submissive Behaviours".

Centre for International Governance Innovation presents John Kirton, University of Toronto, "A Made-in-Canada Foreign Policy for Stephen Harper's First Year", 11:45, 57 Erb Street West, registration e-mail rsvp@cigionline.ca.

Registrar's office closed from 3:30, for retirement open house honouring Peter Burroughs, former director of admissions, 3:30 to 5:00, Festival Room, South Campus Hall.

Columbia Lake Village information meeting about rent increases and possible unbundling of utilities, 7 p.m., Community Centre.

Information systems and technology professional development seminar: Erick Engelke, "MinUWet", Friday 8:45 a.m., IST seminar room.

Open Text opening celebration of new building in the north campus Research and Technology Park, 275 Frank Tompa Drive, Friday 10:30 a.m.

Aaron Feren, science student, funeral service Friday 11 a.m., Holy Rosary Church, Guelph.

St. Jerome's University John Sweeney Lecture in Catholic Healthcare: Kevin Smith, St. Mary's General Hospital, "Public or Private? The Impact of the Supreme Court Decision on Healthcare Delivery", Friday 7:30, Siegfried Hall.

Centre for Learning and Teaching Through Technology presents Alan Cattier and Kim Braxton, Emory University, "Adventures in Space Design: Building and Supporting a Collaborative Computing Lab", Monday 1 p.m., Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library, registration online.

Free barbecue for graduate students, promoting Columbia Lake Village, Tuesday 11:30 to 1:30, Graduate House.

The Record reported this week that Arise Technologies, a local firm that's very big in the design and manufacture of photovoltaic (solar) panels, is hoping to build a pilot plant in UW's north campus research and technology park. "A non-binding letter of intent" is in effect, the park's marketing manager, Carol Stewart, confirmed. She added: "Arise is also an early supporter of the initial funding submissions for the new Centre for Advanced Photovoltaic Devices and Systems on the south campus . . . and looks to define research collaboration opportunities in the future with this group."

The first of the eight convocation ceremonies to be held this June is also the first to have the name of its valedictorian confirmed. That's the student who will speak briefly at the ceremony on behalf of the graduating class. The first ceremony is on the morning of June 14, and will see students in environmental studies and applied health sciences receive their degrees. The selection committee has picked Jennifer Yorke, who's receiving a degree in kinesiology, as the valedictorian for that morning.

The campus recreation program sends this notice as the term comes to an end: "If you were part of an intramural team and did not default, you receive your $40 performance deposit back. You can pick up your deposit until Wednesday, April 19, in the PAC athletics office."

A memo from the staff association tells its members that applications are wanted for positions representing staff on several UW committees: the highly influential Staff Relations Committee; the Joint Health and Safety Committee; the association's own Finance Review Committee; the Staff Grievance Committee; the President's Advisory Committee on Traffic and Parking. There's more information on the association's web site.

Canadian Blood Services sends a thank-you note for the 270 people who donated blood at the recent clinic in the Student Life Centre, and especially the 63 first-time donors. . . . The UW Sustainability Project is inviting applications for two coordinator positions for the spring term. . . . The bookstore in South Campus Hall promises that "no penguins were actually hurt" in the advertising of its current sale, involving "waddles of discontinued, damaged, misprinted and overrun books from the Penguin Group". . . .


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