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Build 2000

Contingency Plan Supports Otonabee College’s Operation for First Term as Clean-Up Continues

Friday, July 30, 2004, Peterborough

As clean-up continues at Trent University following July 15 flooding, the health and safety of students, staff and faculty members is the top priority. The University community has pulled together to assist one another, and is also working to support the broader community through this crisis.

Trent University staff members and external consultants have now had an opportunity to fully assess water damage and report that recovery and reconstruction at Otonabee College will take longer than first anticipated, impacting first term operations at the college in September. It is expected to take another three weeks for the surface areas of the college to dry.

“The sheer volume of water that covered over 25,000 square feet of floor space will take longer to dry than first anticipated,” said Don Cumming, senior director, Public Affairs. “Since our crews pumped six inches of water from Otonabee College’s basement we have been running dehumidifiers non-stop to remove the dampness.”

The flooding necessitated the removal of office furniture, computers, books and papers from faculty and staff offices. Immediately after the flood, steps were taken to store office contents elsewhere. Since more widespread damage was discovered, it has been recommended that everything be moved out of the flooded sections of the lower level of Otonabee College and that the drywall be partially removed.

The resulting restoration will see faculty and staff offices relocated for what may be as long as the duration of the first term. The immediate priority has been to re-open the department offices closed since the flood; the Anthropology and Computer Studies offices and the Chairs of those departments have been relocated to former computer labs (221.4 and 221.5 respectively) on the upper level of Otonabee College.

With few empty office spaces at the Symons Campus, one floor of a residence wing at Peter Gzowski College at Argyle Street will be converted to offices. These are expected to be ready for occupation in early August; cabling and infrastructure upgrades are scheduled to start as soon as possible and are expected to be complete for the first week of classes in September.

The Office of the Registrar is relocating classes that were to have been taught this fall in the lower level of Otonabee College.

“We recognize that these recovery plans may present hardship for some students, staff and faculty members, but we will be working to make the best of a difficult situation and to assist wherever and whenever possible,” says Professor Susan Apostle-Clark, vice president (Academic). “We would like to thank everyone involved for their understanding, help and patience.”

Other areas, including the basement of Mackenzie House and two homes on Pioneer Road owned by the University were affected by the flooding, though not significantly.

Community Co-Operation

Peter Gzowski College at Argyle Street is the site of the Emergency Reception Centre, established by the City of Peterborough. Trent University Director of Conference and Hospitality Services Ashok Kaushik has been among those working with the city over the last couple of weeks.

“We are happy to be able to help the community in this time of need,” said Mr. Kaushik. “It makes you feel like part of the community. You can see everyone is pitching in.”

Meanwhile, the Trent University community, including its newest members - incoming students - is among those who have rallied in support of those affected by the flood. Countless carloads of food and more than 20 bags of clothing, have been delivered on behalf of Trent University students, staff and faculty members, says Jane Rennie, of the Registrar’s Office, who is coordinating the collection.

First-year students and their parents, who are coming to campus for the New Student Orientation Program, are bringing with them, or buying, food and clothing to donate to the cause.

“The incoming class has been unbelievably supportive,” says Ms. Rennie, adding these students and their parents are coming to campus from across Ontario and beyond. “We’ve been inundated with an incredible amount of supplies. It’s been pretty special.”

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For further information, please contact:

Professor Susan Apostle-Clark, Vice President (Academic) 748-1011,

ext. 1243

Alicia Doris, Communications Officer, 748-1011, ext. 1456

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Last Updated August 5, 2004