Place Riel stalled by safety regulations
The opening date of the new Place Riel may be pushed back several months.
Windows in the art studios must be replaced by fire rated window assemblies to meet national building codes.
This could take months to complete, as each assembly is complex and will take significant time to install. The art studios in the Murray Building will require the new windows and are occupied “all day, every day,” said University of Saskatchewan Students’ Union general manager Caroline Cottrell.
If no alternative is found, the new Place Riel may not open until May.
The windows provide lighting to the lower spaces of the Murray Building and Place Riel.
Cottrell emphasized the importance of the windows despite the delay.
“Without the windows, no light would get through. It would be really gloomy.”
“The intent of the code is to prevent fire from blowing out of one building into the other one,” explained architect and project manager Justin Wotherspoon. The buildings are extremely close together, making the safety ratings vital.
Other issues remain. After the loss of Burger King as a planned vendor for the Place Riel food court, the large space remains unfilled by new tenants.
New centre for masonry design
The afternoon of Oct. 1 marked the official opening of the Saskatchewan Centre for Masonry Design on campus.
The centre will be devoted to refining an ancient trade and to take some of the instinct and guesswork out of bricklaying.
The SCMD will facilitate research into how walls of various materials, widths and structures react to stress and different loads. This sort of insight will make new materials more viable and modernize building codes.
The Saskatchewan Masonry Institute gave a $1.25 million donation to the College of Engineering to make the centre a reality.