Concordia Engineering and Computer Science Association Seeks to Renovate Lounge Space

ECA’s Student Board of Directors to Vote on Budget Proposal

The B-Annex Lounge may be renovated if a budget is approved. Photo Josh Fischlin

Concordia’s Engineering and Computer Science Association—which represents 3,250 students—is looking to approve a budget proposal to renovate their B-Annex Lounge.

“The lounge is really in a bad state right now, and everyone had been talking about renovating it—or making it better—for years,” said Emma Saboureau, former ECA president and current independent member on the Board of Directors.

Funding the project

The association has been working on the project since July 2014, and has been putting aside money every year in order to make the renovations possible.

According to Daniel Sciascia, manager of the B-Annex building, they’ve saved up a “considerable” amount of money, amounting to “over $100,000.”

The total project cost outlined in the tentative budget proposal is $126,550 after taxes. There is $71,337 set aside for construction costs, $33,505 for soft non-construction costs, and $15,034 is for contingency costs in order to have some budgetary leeway.

The budget must now be approved by the ECA’s Board of Directors, which is the association’s highest decision-making body, composed of executives, department reps and independent reps.

Then the construction contract will go to tender—a process by which companies bid on who will undertake the project.

The money will then be transferred to construction project accounts and be managed by a project manager at Concordia.

Concordia’s Planning and Development services are “in charge” of the project, because the renovations will be in a Concordia space. The lounge is located at 2160 Bishop St.

“They’re kind of taking care of all the construction,” Saboureau said.

The ECA is also looking for financial aid from the university’s Special Project Fund, which could possibly secure a $45,000 grant, alleviating some of the burden on the association. They are hoping to receive another $45,000 from the CSU through their Student Space, Accessible Education and Legal Contingency Fund. Saboureau has also been in contact with Concordia’s VP Services Roger Côté in a push to have the university cover the project’s soft costs.

The budget proposal is a way for Concordia to ensure that the association is ready to move forward with the project, and that they’re ready to spend the money.

What changes will be made

Plans for construction include tearing down a door and the entrance of the lounge in order to make the space more open. It will cut down parts of the wall in between the lounge and the storage room to create a kitchen area.

According to Saboureau, they will only be adding a sink. However, Sciascia would like the new kitchen to have some cooking capabilities as well.

“I would focus on some décor aspects, because right now it’s kind of a little bland, with, at the same time, some functionality portions, like the kitchen,” Sciascia explained.

He would like the lounge to have multiple purposes, and would like to be able to hold events there in the future. Having a “nicer space” would benefit students, he said.

“Its nice to have a place to relax, and speak to like-minded people in a building that has societies for different engineering faculties.”

Public support

In order to measure public support for the project, The Link asked 40 engineering and computer science students to fill out a short survey.

Fifteen per cent were very satisfied with the lounge’s current state, 32.5 per cent were somewhat satisfied, and 2.5 per cent were not at all satisfied with it.

Some 17.5 per cent thought renovating and refurbishing the lounge would be a very good investment, 20 per cent thought it would be just a good investment, and 12.5 per cent were neutral.

A total of 50 per cent of respondents did not know about, or have never visited, the lounge.