1.2 Million Dollars in ‘renovation,’ but no expansion


By Natalie Heilberg-Harrison

After setting a few press releases and $1.215 million dollars loose in the name of a library expansion on Kwantlen’s Richmond campus, it has become clear that amidst the visits and speeches from various politicians, there is one thing students won’t be getting – a bigger library. Although book-happy students will still have a few reasons to salivate after the cheque goes through.
“It’s a renovation. Unfortunately it’s not an expansion,” said Caroline Daniels, chair of the senate standing committee on the library.

Instead, she said the grants of $656,000 from the provincial government and $559,000 from the federal government will “update” the 20,400-square-foot space, converting unused areas and reorganizing current ones.

She added that although they are still in the design phase, and no construction companies have been hired yet, one of the main priorities will be to increase the number of computer stations and work areas for students. In addition, they will make better use of natural lighting, add more space for collections and move the entire learning centre into the library.
“It’s not an expansion, so we can’t do everything we want to do. We’ll at least improve the existing space,” she said.

The renovation is one of 11 post-secondary projects underway in B.C., which Richmond MP Alice Wong said will benefit students and also create jobs. Richmond East MLA Linda Reid added that it’s “creating jobs at a time when every job counts.”

Daniels said the timeline for completion is a bit fuzzy because of the Olympics, but said everything will be done within the next year. “We’re aiming to have it complete before the summer,” she added.
David Atkinson, president and vice-chancellor of Kwantlen, said in a press release that he was “exceedingly pleased” and that the renovations will “enhance the student learning experience at Kwantlen.”


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