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UNIVERSITY OF LETHBRIDGE
50 YEARS, 50 VOICES
50 YEARS, 50 VOICES
Bob joined the University in 1968 after doing consulting civil engineering for nine years as the Calgary Branch Manager of Stanley Associates Engineering Ltd. He was responsible for overseeing the planning and construction of the University, and later, coordinating campus planning and development, operation and maintenance of the physical plant facilities, security and parking. After 22 years with the University, he retired as Vice President Campus Development.
Bob refutes the long-held myth that the University was going to fall into the Oldman River.
The full audio interview will be made available online in late 2017. For more information please contact the University of Lethbridge Archives. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
(JT: Jim Tagg, Interviewer)
JT: You know the University sliding into the river (Oldman) was one of the great myths that you always heard in the early years here.
BC: Well certainly!
JT: And it was a metaphor for the whole University (BC: It was!) whether you were going to live or not was connected to whether it is gonna slide down there or not. You probably got quite sick and tired of hearing that.
BC: Well, you heard it everywhere you went, even around the city how it’s going to slide into the river. Well, yes, it was a hard thing to convince people that it wouldn’t. Because we knew that it was on solid foundations, it wasn’t going anywhere and we insisted that the architect keep it back far enough that it wasn’t subject to bank sloughing. As a matter of fact, that part of the river is a fairly straight run there, so you didn’t get the currents as much as you did upstream and downstream. But, that was a big thing. As a matter of fact, when I retired, the guys in the Utility Department gave me a little model of a crane with an operation that you could turn the crank handle and it was mounted on a plaque with a caption on it, 'To be used only if the building starts to fall into the river.'
JT: That’s terrific!
BC: And even in 1990 when you went out anywhere everybody was saying, 'Well gee, it’s not going to slip and slide into the river?' You always had to be on the defensive.
JT: I guess!