GBC Fixer: Closed down St. James staircase inconveniences students

Staircase to open again in January as Bell installs cell tower

If you’ve been on the St. James campus this fall, you may have noticed that the patio staircase outside 200 King St. E is closed. The staircase has been closed while Bell Mobility installs a cell tower on the roof of the building.

Francis Ojo, a first-year student in the human resources program, regularly used the staircase. Ojo said that these renovations have been frustrating as he does not feel that students needs were considered, due the length of time the staircase has been closed.

“I have to go around the school, to get access to the patio, and it’s not convenient,” said Ojo. “Plus I don’t think these renovations should take that long if they are only upgrading an antenna.”

According to George Brown College (GBC) corporate communications manager Lisa Marchitto, maintenance workers from Bell Mobility are currently installing the cell phone antenna for network coverage purposes. The work should be completed by January.

Marchitto said that GBC is giving Bell Mobility access to the stairs and patio so that they can get to the roof, which is where the majority of work is taking place. From staircase level, the construction is hardly visible.

Marchitto said that the staircase closure was a matter of student safety.

“In the process of giving them this access George Brown College is taking steps to ensure the safety of our staff and students, which is why the stairway entrance on King Street is closed,” said Marchitto.

The new antenna might help improve cellular service for Bell customers in the downtown core. But until at least the end of January, tower construction will block students who use the staircase as a quick access to and from the patio.

Bell was contacted, but at press time no one was available to comment.

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GBC Fixer: Closed down St. James staircase inconveniences students