Renovation Vacation

The Wardroom expands; the Watch moves

by Michelle Fryzuk – Feb. 17, 2011

When you come back from reading week, the Wardroom might look very different.
On Feb. 17, King’s President William Barker announced in an email to the student body that the Fountain family had donated $600,000 to the school in memory of their son, Alex. He committed suicide in the summer of 2009, and as someone who was involved heavily in Halifax music, $200,000 of their donation will be designated to Wardroom renovations.
Plans include tearing down the wall between the Wardroom and the Watch office to increase space and allow for greater capacity, as well as an area to facilitate the building of a new canteen. Safety issues will also be addressed, including an added door that will serve as a fire exit.

The former Alex Hall hallway - photo by Michael Fraiman

A renovation advisory committee has been set up, which plans to start meeting this coming week to begin delegations on the renovations. While this is happening, plans are already in motion to convert the old Watch office into the new snack bar. For now, the Watch plans to operate in the Link, next to the King’s Students’ Union office.
“All I can comment on at this time is that facilities staff are trying to keep the cost down by doing some of the renovation work that will be required in the former Watch [sic] office before we hire a contractor to do any renovations this summer,” said Bursar Gerry Smith in an email.
Other committees have been set up for the future changes to the Pit and the Chapel. “We are excited and committed to the project of renovating the Wardroom as a prong of the larger picture which includes the Pit and the Chapel as well,” said Dr. Roberta Barker, head of the committee for renovations on the Pit. Barker emphasized the desire to keep these renovations “all about the students.”
More information concerning changes and the Wardroom’s status will be made public once discussions get underway in the next couple weeks.

By David J. Shuman

David is the current editor-in-chief of The Watch and writes on student issues and events. Find him on Twitter: @DavidJShuman

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