Hall Reno On Track

  • Photo Erin Sparks

Students can finally say goodbye to the unpredictable escalators in the Hall Building as the first of four phases of renovations is set to wrap up by Sept. 12.

“We are right on target, and I’m extremely pleased with how it’s going,” said John Fisher of Concordia’s Facilities Management department.

After 18 months of planning, initial work on phase one of renovations began about six months ago. The first phase involves the installation of a new escalator and staircase from the ground floor to the second floor of the Hall Building. It also includes a total revamp of the 10th, 11th and 12th floors, complete with new escalators, ceramics, sprinkler and lighting systems.

While students will be heading back to school amidst renovations, Fisher says the first phase shouldn’t cause much of a disruption. “Students are going to find [phase one] more accessible than any other phase that we are doing,” he said. “They are going to have an extra escalator, a thick staircase, and we won’t be removing the other escalators at this time.” The new escalators on the upper floors will also be up and running by the time students return to class.

Fisher says that the new escalators will be substantially smarter and safer than their dated and dysfunctional predecessors. He says they will be 20 to 40 per cent more energy efficient, making them not only beneficial for users of the Hall Building but for the university itself.

In hopes of not letting history repeat itself, the new escalators are designed for effective troubleshooting. Escalators will be directly linked to both the building’s security and electrical departments, in order to pinpoint the exact timing and cause of any technical issues instantly.

Once phase one of the project is complete, the 7th, 8th and 9th floors will be closed in preparation for the next phase. Fisher expects this phase to be slightly more inconvenient for students, but manageable nonetheless. The last phase of the renovations is scheduled for completion by March 29, 2013, but Fisher is optimistic that the project might still finish earlier than expected.

—with files from Laura Beeston

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