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November 7, 2002 Big move to Science Complex



Vice-Dean Bob Roy goes over the plans.

Photo by Andrew Dobrowolskyj

by Jason Gondziola

After months of planning, the move into the new Science Complex at Loyola is finally underway. The move will see an estimated 8,800 boxes and bins moved into the into the state-of-the art building, with the hope that all will be settled by August 26.

“I’m sure we’ll learn some lessons in the first week,” said Bob Roy, Vice-Dean of Planning for Arts and Sciences. “There are a lot of last-minute adjustments to make, including computer wiring, but by and large, I think we’re ready to go.”

The move, which is being handled by Transports Lacombe at a basic cost of $210,000, began June 2 with Exercise Science, a natural choice because of their proximity to the new complex.

“They’re a little easier because they’re on this campus, so if you run into snags it’s not so bad to run back and forth for a little while between the two buildings. For the people downtown, when they move, it’s much more of a commitment to this campus.”

Most of the other new inhabitants will come from the downtown Hall Building, and will free up roughly four floors for re-use. Once the move is complete, Roy will turn his attention to renovating Hall’s newly vacated floors, a process that will take at least a year.

“It’s a very substantial renovation, involving wall removals, all kinds of ventilation changes, and trying to improve vertical communications in the building,” he said. The social sciences will get the lion’s share of the newly liberated space.

“Mostly, I think, it will be faculty offices, graduate student offices, meeting rooms, seminar rooms, lounges, resource rooms, and restoring some corridors that disappeared over the years. It will be a little more friendly to get around in.”

The move is being co-ordinated to minimize the impact on each of the affected departments, who have been packing and preparing since earlier this spring. Roughly 12,500 items belonging to over 370 faculty members, researchers, grad students, and administrative staff will be moved at a rate of 10 to 15 truckloads per day, four days a week, leaving one day each week for assessment and planning.

Books, files and furniture will be standard items included in the move, but Roy sees the non-standard items as being the most challenging.

“We have a person who is dedicated to just the technical aspects of the move,” Roy said. “His job is to make sure that on a particular day, whatever tradespeople or technicians are needed to disconnect a mass spectrometer, for example, are there and ready.”

Specialists from the U.S. and overseas will be flown in to handle calibration and diagnostics for the high-tech equipment, the movement of which will be handled by a dedicated crew of movers.

“They also have put on a special crew to move chemicals or hazardous materials, because we have a lot of chemicals,” Roy said. “Just the preparation for the chemical move is an enormous undertaking.

“All the chemicals must be classified. They have to be packed in appropriate combinations, boxed and put into trucks in the right combinations, and within limits that are allowed by the Transport of Dangerous Goods regulations.”

Roy said this move is “by a country mile” the largest and most complex project with which he has ever been associated.

He commented on the long hours that his staff has put in for this project. “Tremendous. And it’s not over. This is going to be a very busy summer.”

The fun of officially opening the new Science Complex and renovated athletics facilities on the Loyola Campus will take place in early September through a series of events, many open to the public. Look for announcements later this summer.