March 2009 is the completion date for the new Ontario Archives offices being built at York University. Today the ground breaking ceremonies took place on the future spot of the archives, right outside my office window. Having worked at YorkU for the last 6 years I can truly say that the administration here knows exactly how to play the political game. They are not any way close to UofT on that scale, but getting the archives here was a big move and has certainly helped their push for the Spadina Subway extension. Looking around the campus the archives coming to Yorku is probably the biggest thing to happen to the University since the Rexall Center which opened 2 years ago and Seneca College who set up shop here several years back.
With all these new buildings popping up it is so unfortunate that the administration has not spent any money on its students in a long while. Not ever being a student here, it certainly looks like the University is reaping great benefits at the expense of its students. How the University gets its money apart from the government funding I will save for another day but in all, its good to see the University stepping up but they indeed need to work on some in-house maintenance. From my observations, York U is desperately in need of a convocation hall, current graduates now have their commencement in a tent. I have argued this point many times and having spoken to a few graduates. They are not at all impressed with the effort the University has put into sending its students off into the real world. It is most often hot and sticky in the tent and if it happens to rain on your commencement day, good luck!
The new archives building comes with a price tag of 100 million dollars. Under the terms of the agreement the university has with the Province, York University will pay for building and the new Archives of Ontario facility is responsible for operating it. The province will sign a thirty five year lease that specifies payment of six million dollars per year by the province. Hopefully within that 35 year span and an extra six million dollars coming in each of those years the University will find some money to build a convocational hall for its students.
York University’s Graduation Tent