This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
3N6 Tel 613-533-300 Fax 613-533-3002
March 15, 2012
Alan Harrison Provost & Vice-Principal (Academic) Richardson Hall Proposal to Re-Open the Physical Education Centre (PEC) Background As soon as the Queen’s Centre opened fully equipped with a new Athletics and Recreation Facility in 2010, the former Physical Education Centre (PEC) was closed. However in the past few years it has become clear that the need for space on campus has grown substantially. The PEC presents an opportunity to the University to provide space to groups on campus that need it the most such as Athletics and Recreation, the University Registrar, and Health, Counseling and Disability Services. In January, our team running for the Alma Mater Society (AMS) Executive included in our platform a promise to work towards re-opening the PEC for a variety of campus stakeholders. We did preliminary research, contacting many groups and people on campus such as Dr. Mike Condra, Ann Browne, Leslie Dal Cin, Teresa Alm and most recently Ann Tierney. The platform point became the center of discussion throughout the campaign, dominating the debates and becoming the focus of our class talks and booth discussions. Most importantly, the PEC was discussed by many students throughout our campaign. Students became very excited about this potential project. On February 1st the undergraduate student body elected our team with 64% of the first round vote, with a record 33.78% voter turnout. Ultimately it has been made clear that the need for more space on campus has never been greater. The following proposal will elaborate on the benefits that re-opening the PEC would have for the student body. Benefits 1) Health, Counseling and Disability Services (HCDS) In our conversations with Dr. Mike Condra, Director of HCDS, we have learned that HCDS’ greatest need is space. HCDS is currently using its allocated space to maximum capacity but would benefit from more rooms on campus to provide more counseling services. Graduate students in certain programs are required to complete a practicum or placement to practice counseling. HCDS has the capacity to supervise approximately 4 more graduate students, ultimately enabling the service to offer over 500 additional hours of counseling to Queen’s students, staff and faculty. With a number of classrooms and offices to be re-purposed, the PEC presents the perfect opportunity to allocate HCDS more space and increase the counseling services on
campus. Additionally the current HCDS space on campus presents a number of issues, most notably that its location is not central to student activity and campus life. The current HCDS space also has a complete separation between health services and counseling services, creating increased stigma towards students accessing the second floor. Allocating space for HCDS within the main center of student life would greatly benefit both the service and students. 2) Office of the University Registrar Beginning in December 2011 the University Registrar has been unable to use the PEC for the winter and spring exam periods, forcing them to utilize a distributed exam model. This past exam period demanded the use of 57 rooms across campus. This results in many accessibility issues for students, professors and proctors and ultimately cost the Registrar roughly $40,000 more per exam period to pay for extra proctors. We have heard from students and faculty that the disadvantages they experience with this set-up are numerous. Ultimately, we would like to see exams moved back into the PEC for a number of reasons. Most importantly, it would allow for easier dialogue between faculty and their students throughout the exam period. Use of the PEC would also cut down on accessibility issues between students and the buildings they are assigned to. This project could save the University Registrar up to $40,000 in increased proctor costs every exam period. 3) Athletics and Recreation Our conversations with Leslie Dal Cin (Director of Athletics and Recreation) and Jeff Downie (Recreation and Sports Clubs), as well as countless students, have shown us the dire need for more gym space on campus. The Athletics and Recreation Centre simply cannot meet the growing needs of the University. The equipment and gym space is wearing down much faster than anticipated. Intramural sports and clubs occur as late as 12:30am with nearly 1000 students still on the waiting list. Re-opening the PEC would provide students with three more gyms and several dance studios allowing them to participate in the extra-curricular culture that we boast at Queen’s. Attached to this document is a letter in support of our initiative from Leslie Dal Cin. 4) Community Relations Most parties that we have spoken with have indicated interest in using the PEC for specific dates and times. For example, the Registrar would require it throughout December and April. Athletics and Recreation would utilize it during the week, as most intramural sports and clubs do not run on weekends. This provides an opportunity for the facilities to become a revenue generating source from the Kingston Community, which has seen park and recreational facility closures in the past and is therefore in need of space. The different rooms, gyms and equipment could be rented out to Kingston community groups. In the best case scenario, this would help recover some of the assumed costs of opening the building.
5.) The PEC as a Multi-Purpose Space Finally we feel that in many instances the needs of several programs for space have expanded beyond the locations in which they are currently held. For example, career fairs, open houses and convocation preparations all continue to grow with increasing enrollment and interest in post-secondary education and the University needs to provide more space to meet this growing need. The PEC presents an opportunity to meet this need, perhaps with an assessment of the current space within the building, and a plan for re-purposing sections to meet the diverse needs on campus. Conclusion It is clear that the need for more space on campus is growing and the Physical Education Centre provides a unique opportunity to meet that demand. We are aware that there are concerns with the structural state of the building and that the cost to reopen it is unknown. This document is intended as a demonstration of the great need for more space on campus. We recognize that many parties on campus would like to see this project completed, and we bring the support of the unified student body. We ask that the University take this document and our thoughts into consideration, as they stem from a great deal of consultation with students and members of the administration. We hope to have demonstrated the reality that the need for more space is high and the desire for the utilization of the Physical Education Centre in the future is great.
Submitted by :
Doug Johnson Incoming President
Mira Dineen Incoming Vice-President (University Affairs)
Tristan Lee Incoming Vice-President (Operations)