Student union building delayed again, September opening called “very optimistic”

By: Zach Siddiqui, Copy Editor

Construction on the Student Union Building (SUB) is unlikely to finish in time for summer, says SFSS executive director Sylvia Ceacero.

On April 18, at an SFSS board of directors’ meeting, Ceacero updated the board on the SUB’s progress, stating that “the opening of the SUB in September seems very optimistic.” Build SFU manager Marc Fontaine was also present.

Previously, the SFSS had announced on their website that “SFU and the contractor believe the building will be complete in late March 2019 [ . . . ] The SFSS is planning to host a grand opening in Summer 2019.”

While Ceacero noted that she would like to be mistaken, she also stated that based on the building’s current state, it would not be “prudent” to expect an imminent finish.

“We’re pushing very hard for that to be the case, we are at every meeting [about the SUB] . . . [We are] just trying to manage the expectations.”

According to the SFSS website, the SFSS “is not involved in managing the construction work.”

“Pro-Can Construction Group is the contractor and is responsible for building the SUB. Pro-Can sets the construction schedule. [ . . . ] SFU is managing the contractor and the consultants (e.g. the architects and engineers) on behalf of the SFSS,” the site says.

Later, Jessica Nguyen, vice-president-elect student life, asked when the SUB was likely to be completed.

“That’s a great question,” Fontaine joked. More seriously, Ceacero explained that it is “rare” for projects as large as the SUB to be completed on schedule.

Ceacero disclosed the progress update while the board was discussing the SFSS’s 2019–20 events budget. Nguyen had mentioned hoping to run more events over the summer with the SUB open.

“Now that the SUB is unlikely to open this summer and maybe even the fall, the events committee and I will have to rethink venue ideas, but this will not change the number of high-quality events we will produce,” Nguyen told The Peak in a follow-up email interview.

“In event planning, almost anything you can imagine that would go wrong will go wrong, so the events committee will just have to be adaptable and creative in using the resources we have.”

The Peak is continuing to look into this story. More details to come as the story develops.

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