Expanding your student experience (and the SLC/PAC) Q&A with Feds and GSA presidents on the what and how of the SLC/PAC expansion

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Site Plan for SLC/PAC Expansion
The SLC/PAC expansion plan hopes to connect buildings on campus to make student life easier. Courtesy Feds.

Recently, ground was broken for the new SLC/PAC expansion that is being built.

The addition will connect to the current SLC on all three floors and the Red North corner of PAC. It also includes a link connecting the SLC to the third floor of MC. The University will contribute $17 million of the capital costs towards the expansion. Students will contribute the remaining $24 million through an $18 per term fee, as cited on the uWaterloo website.

Imprint caught up with Antonio Brieva, President of Feds, and Robert Bruce, Graduate Student Association President, to talk to them about what is happening with the expansion and plans for the new space.

Q: What are you planning to put in the expansion and is there going to be any student study space? Will there be outlets for students to use?

Bruce: Yeah, the features of the building include bookable rooms of small, medium, and large for all students. We have our new GSA offices going in; there’s also a grad lounge that’s attached to that. There’s a multi-faith space room, which will be a wonderful addition to our campus. And then we have plans to have different functions that are already part of campus to be housed within our new SLC expansion.

Q: How long construction is going to take?

Brieva: Barring any delays or any unexpected construction things, it looks like the project will be done at some time in the fall of 2018.

Q: So until the fall of 2018, what will happen to events like Orientation Week and Welcome Week that use that space? 

Bruce: During the process of trying to set up the phasing of construction, those concerns were raised. What we tried to do was put in place that we’re mitigating the amount of inconvenience we’re causing students throughout the process. So I don’t know the formal extent to which the plan has been created for Orientation and large events such as that, but … we were taking into consideration how that would impact the day-to-day lives of students on campus.

Brieva: To add to that, when it comes to Orientation, since a lot of the programming that is done is faculty-specific, I know that there has been work done to let all affected parties know the extent and effect of the construction. But again, I wouldn’t know the specifics about how specific events have been affected because that programming is done on a faculty-specific basis.

Q: Is there anything else that the student body should know about the new space?

Bruce:  I think just be excited about it. I think every campus needs more student space that is flexible and offers students many uses in one place. I think that this expansion is long needed and will actually go far to expanding the student experience in Waterloo.

Infographic with information on the SLC/PAC expansion.
Courtesy uWaterloo.