Earlier last month, the Sauder School of Business received approval for a third phase of building renovations. The CUS was informed of the nature and funding plan for the proposal last fall when it was initially being considered. While the CUS was initially surprised to learn of the project’s budget being sourced from operating reserve funds, a positive update in financial circumstances has made this possible.
During discussions surrounding Phase 2 renovations in the spring of 2010, students were of the understanding that the school’s operating reserves, while existent, were already allocated to the highest prudent level and therefore could not be used. We are happy and thankful that students went well above and beyond what is generally expected of them in order to support the future of their institution with a student fee.
Since then, the school’s operations have come in above expectations for the past ﬁscal year, making a release of funds now possible and prudent. Also, we are happy to report that Phase 2 construction has come in on time and on budget thus far, freeing up contingencies built into the original plan. The most recent milestone of Phase 2 has been the completion of the Canaccord Learning Commons, now open for your use.
Finally, Phase 3 will realize signiﬁcant cost savings with work done by construction teams that are already in place. Within the scope of current Phase 2 renovations, seismic upgrades to the faculty tower on the west side of the Henry Angus complex require building occupants to move out temporarily. The current facility is outdated with heat-retention, electrical, and ﬁre-safety issues. Phase 3 represents an opportunity to ﬁx these problems and update the space while building occupants are already removed. With these practical efﬁciencies in mind, we have fully supported and welcomed the additional work.
Aside from allowing for Phase 3 to go ahead, the ﬁnancial factors considered above have also allowed for the student contribution to the building to be reduced by $2 million. While we wish there’d been a chance to use faculty reserves earlier in the year to reduce the initial student contribution, we fully stand behind the student donation and understand the constraints faced at the time.
Now that ﬁnancial factors permit, we welcome this further investment in the future of our program, as well as this reduction in the required student contribution. The CUS and Dean’s Ofﬁce have committed to an annual discussion of the school’s ﬁnances in order to assess the feasibility of further reductions in the need for student funding.
More information on the Phase 3 approval can be found at the following link:
-The Commerce Undergraduate Society