First day of school surprise to lead to further changes in campus scenery

The first day back to school, the students were surprised to find a change in scenery. A tree removal had occurred at the main bus loop, leaving no remaining trees standing – only uneven stumps in the dirt. “The staff was heartbroken, since they were such beautiful trees. It had to be done, but it’s still quite sad”, says Sarah Silvester, Services Coordinator at the Capilano Students Union (CSU).

The trees were removed to clear space for the building of the east end of the film studio, according to Ian Robertson, Director of Building and Grounds. Cindy Turner (Vice President in Finance & Administration) added that “this new project must be completed by March 31st, 2011, so the contractors are participating in 'fast track construction,'” meaning the building design has to be completed first, and the building commences before all the details of materials are chosen.

The new cleared space is in order to facilitate the building of a new “bar shelter”. This bar shelter will be an overpass, built into the design of the film studio, which will shelter the bus loop. Buses will drive underneath the new building, to maximize the limited space.

Located beside this bar shelter, there will be facilities such as a small cafeteria and washrooms. Also, building a portion of the film studio in that particular location limits the amount of area that will be taken away from the grassy field, behind the Maple building.

Administration felt the grassy area was something worth keeping for the students’ festivities, especially during the summer months. In order to do this, the project had to be moved to the bus loop, in which the designer said the trees had to be taken down. It was suggested that this be done during the winter break, since it should not interrupt classes in session, interfere with the buses transporting students, or take place during the Olympics; when Capilano University will be used as a parking lot for the events.

The trees that were cut down could be classified as scrub trees, according to arborists, since they were in poor condition. To compensate for this tree removal, more trees will be planted. In addition, the process of the tree removal included a bird study, which had to be conducted before the trees could be cut down. “If there were birds living in these trees, it is doubtful they would have been able to be chopped down,” says Turner.

It is possible more trees could get cut down, to provide better access to help with the building, though if this happens, even more trees will be planted. As Turner states, “this is an opportunity to provide services to transit link, since right now there is really nothing there.”

The building underground will commence as of March 2010. The contractors hope to have the bar shelter up by summertime, so the bus loop will be running in September.\

//Sheliza Thobani

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