Summer construction scaled back

This summer, the University of Lethbridge's busy construction schedule will once again move forward, but not with the scope that was anticipated prior to the Mar. 7 provincial budget announcements.

The schedule has been altered in recent weeks in light of cuts made by the provincial government to the University's Campus Alberta operating grant, with projects slated to draw funding from the University's general operating funds suspended until further notice.

"In order to stay true to our recently reaffirmed values, those capital projects that will draw on operating funds will be postponed until we have a better handle on our financial situation," says Vice-President (Finance & Administration) Nancy Walker.

Only those projects with funding specifically received under the Infrastructure Maintenance Program (IMP), or other restricted capital grants, will continue as previously scheduled.

The now postponed capital projects include Phase 2 of the far west parking lot project, including the rehabilitation of Lot E, which is rescheduled for summer 2014. Some maintenance work will continue in the west lots, including the repair of asphalt badly damaged by winter conditions, as well as the completion of some of last summer's preliminary work, but the bulk of the project is now on hold.

In addition, the University Centre for the Arts North Patio Concrete Paver Replacement project has been postponed until further notice, as have the University Hall Gathering Space Rehabilitation project and the Canadian Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience HVAC Assessment and Rehabilitation project.

Significant work will continue over the summer and people will see the completion of initiatives such as the renovation of food services spaces, the Physical Education Tunnel Rehabilitation and South Plaza Replacement, as well as the Library Roof Replacement, with all funding coming from either IMP or from specific capital grants earmarked for their completion.

"It is important to note that targeted capital funding received must be spent on the grant's designated capital projects and the funds cannot be used for other purposes or to supplement the operating budget," adds Walker.

The summer construction season is a very important time for the University of Lethbridge as the Department of Facilities works hard on a multitude of maintenance programs to keep the University's buildings and infrastructure in the best possible condition for students, faculty, staff and community users.

For continued updates on Facilities projects, visit their website.