Opening of Student Union Building again delayed to Fall 2020 semester

Previously set for a March 2020 opening, students will now have to wait longer for the building to open its doors

Photo courtesy of RDH Building Science

Written by: Paige Riding, News Writer

The long-anticipated Student Union Building (SUB) has once again been delayed, with the current projected opening date pushed to Fall 2020. 

Initially slated to open in Fall 2018, then pushed to Summer 2019 due to weather and staffing issues, and then again delayed to March 2020, the SUB finds its projected opening date again set back. 

The $55-million dollar project started in June 2016 and, almost four years later, still stands incomplete near Convocation Mall on the Burnaby campus. 

The Peak reached out to the Build SFU General Manager Marc Fontaine over email for an update on the SUB’s construction. Fontaine noted that construction continues during the pandemic with some additional challenges. 

Some of the setbacks they have faced so far include the inability of some tradespeople to attend the site, a reduced amount of consultants on the site, and delays in the shipments of some international materials. Despite this, Fontaine said that most work on the building continues as usual. 

As such, Fontaine expects to see the building go through the City of Burnaby’s inspection process and be handed over to the Simon Fraser Student Society by the end of July this year. Once this occurs, some construction in the summer and fall will allow the crew to finish the 111,000-sq-ft project. When asked about procedures during the pandemic, Fontaine explained new measures implemented for the safety of workers.

“New safety precautions were put in place by the general contractor for people working in the building. These precautions include opening washrooms for hand washing and implementing requirements for physical distancing. Additionally, consultants have reduced the frequency of their attendance on site and are instead attending meetings by telephone,” said Fontaine.

“We will be regularly assessing the opening of the building and will be strictly adhering to the BC Provincial Health Officer’s orders. With the university’s recent announcement that most classes will take place remotely for the fall semester, we are expecting that the building will be open during the daytime with students following all physical distancing requirements that are in place at that time.”