Concordia University announced the $4.5 million purchase of the fifth and sixth floors of the Faubourg building in order to facilitate the Webster library’s expansion for an increase in available study space for students, last week.
Concordia’s VP services Roger Côté believes that the university needs more room for academic purposes, especially additional space and private rooms for studying.
“The university is constantly short of space because the university is continually growing,” said Chris Mota, the university’s spokesperson. “The Faubourg building’s location and opportunity is excellent for the space the university needs.”
The Faubourg building is currently leased to tenants therefore the university is unable to immediately occupy the space in the building. Côté confirmed that his office will inform the university community of the proceeding relocation plans.
“I definitely think an extension would be good,” said Erika Métivier, a first-year creative writing student at Concordia. “Couches are always taken, but what is even more annoying is that the individual silent study areas of the library are always full.”
Mota stated that there is still no definite date as to when the building will be available for students, since the university must respect the tenants’ leases.
“It could still be a number of years before progress starts,” Mota said.
In comparison, McGill boasts 16 different libraries for its two campuses while Concordia, with approximately 10,000 more students than McGill, provides one library for each campus. Jennifer Glover-Drolet, a McGill University education student who attended Concordia last year, said she believes that both post-secondary institutions’ libraries lack study rooms and space.
Glover-Drolet said that some libraries at McGill aren’t as crowded with students as others but she does believe that McGill lacks “closed group study rooms” and doesn’t offer enough study space in general. According to Glover-Drolet, the shortage of space needs to be addressed at McGill as well.
Concordia also currently rents classroom space in the Faubourg building. In 1997, the university purchased the adjacent Faubourg tower, where the School of Extended Learning, the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema and the department of Human Resources are located.
Vicky Desjardins, a first-year English literature student, said she thinks that students studying at the John Molson School of Business are favoured by the university since there are 44 private study rooms available to book. Desjardins thinks it’s “unfair that the business students have all the rooms to study” while other buildings do not provide similar services to students.
Concordia Student Union President Schubert Laforest stated that his main concern is to ensure that the floors bought by administration are used for academic purposes rather than for bureaucratic use.
“It’s good to see there’s an investment in that,” he said. Laforest went on to say that he wants to ensure that other unfinished projects within the university aren’t being neglected.
“Students should be the number one priority,” said Laforest.