Delays to new design building

The move to the Daniel’s Waterfront location is now slated for summer

Design students at George Brown College (GBC) are still waiting for the new building they were promised.

After a series of delays, the school of design is slated to move to it’s new Waterfront location at 3 Lower Jarvis St. for the summer semester.

“It’s taken a while, but we’re tremendously excited to have really state-of-the-art facilities for the school of design,” said Luigi Ferrara, dean of the centre for arts, design, and information technology.

According to an email sent to students on Nov. 20, 2018 the new school of design building was supposed to be ready for the beginning of the winter semester. 

However, on Dec. 13, students received a subsequent email stating that, due to delays in construction at the new building, all courses would continue at 230 Richmond St. East in January.

On Feb. 20, it was confirmed that students would not be enjoying the new space for their classes in the winter semester.

“We started thinking about it, and thinking about the timelines and how much nicer it would look if we decided to bring the students in for the school of design later,” said Karen Thomson, vice president of corporate services at GBC.  

Factors such as window blinds not being installed, and the third floor only being partially incomplete played a part in delaying the move, Thomson said.  

Another important factor in delaying the move was the time required to move the equipment from the old building to the new.

“That would have left us a week over the Christmas holidays to bring the equipment in, test the equipment, and make sure everything worked,” said Thomson, adding that the same issue would have presented itself in moving over the winter intercession week.

A one-week window may not have been enough, she said. 

“The academic division, as we got closer to the date, said they were just a little bit nervous that they didn’t have enough time to really feel like they knew the equipment,” said Thomson.

According to Thomson, “there were zero cost-implications” in delaying the move, saying that they have completely signed off with the construction firm.

As for what will happen to the old design building at 230 Richmond St. East, Ferrara believes the space will be kept for a number of years.

“We love the current space we’re in, but it isn’t an owned space,” he said.  “And the whole project for the school of design at the Daniel’s City for the Arts allows us to get a space that we own, and so it’s secure for the future, for the students,” he added.

Ferrara said that the old school of design will still be re-purposed and used for media and hospitality programs, as they’re giving up other spaces at the college  they formerly leased.\

“I think it’s going to be amazing for the students, and I think it’s also going to be amazing for the Waterfront campus,” said Ferrara. “Now there’s not just one building, but a true community of buildings that’s down there.”

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Delays to new design building