Report: September 13, 2004

UNVERSITY OF TORONTO AT MISSISSAUGA

Erindale College Council
RESOURCE PLANING & PRIORITIES COMMITTEE

REPORT OF THE RESOURCE PLANNING AND PRIORITIES COMMITTEE meeting of Erindale College Council held on Monday, September 13, 2004 at 3:10 p.m., in the Alumni Lounge, room 3138, South Building.

PRESENT: R. Baker (in the Chair), K. Krupica, P. King, D. Mustafa, C. Capewell, B. Schneider, M. Jalland, D. Crocker, U. Krull, S. O’Connell, M. Georges, N. Collins
REGRETS: A. Mullin
Guests: B. Louie, A. Iwaniw, J. Linley, M. Overton

1. Adoption of the Agenda

The agenda was approved. (B. Schneider / P. King)

2. Minutes of the Previous Meeting (February 9, 2004)

The minutes of the previous meeting were approved. (C. Capewell / M. Overton)

3. Business arising from the minutes

There was no business arising from the minutes.

4. New Business

a) Environmental Affairs at UTM and Report from the Grounds Monitoring sub-committee – Nicholas Collins, Aubrey Iwaniw, Mark Overton

The Chair introduced the presenters and called on the Dean of Student Affairs to begin the report.

The Dean of Student Affairs reported that due to the availability of funding through the Canadian Council for Human Resources in Environmental Initiatives in conjunction with matching from the UTM departments of Student Affairs, Residence and the CAO’s office, UTM was able to hire an Environmental Affairs Officer. The position is a one-year full-time contract and has been filled by Ms. Aubrey Iwaniw. He noted that Ms. Iwaniw has already made progress on a number of environmental projects and called on her to report on these initiatives.

Ms. Iwaniw started her report with a discussion of campus sustainability projects. She noted that there is a large emphasis on improving UTM’s waste management. Benchmark figures are currently being provided through the Ecological Footprint Analysis and the Sierra Youth Coalition Sustainability Audit Framework, both student-run projects. More benchmark figures will also be provided by the waste audit scheduled for October by Facility Resources.

On the topic of waste reduction, she reported that an initiative in composting called A New Plan, A New Passion, has been launched in Residence. Canadian Waste Management Systems picks up the composted material, which is eventually used in farmers’ fields and backyard compost systems. UTM’s food services provider, Chartwells, is participating in numerous projects, including composting and reusing the material in a garden plot, wrapping stations (set up in all cafes and cafeterias), discount incentives for reusable mugs (Lug-A-Mug), improvements in their purchasing policy and the introduction of fair trade coffee options.

Another waste management initiative is to move standard paper purchasing to a type of paper that has a high content of post consumer material. In addition, an invitation was sent to the Region of Peel to host a Waste Pickup Environment Day on campus, during which they would set up a collection depot for hazardous materials. Other waste reduction projects in residence include the introduction of Rbay Exchange, which is an on-line bulletin for buying and selling re-usable items and the distribution of No Flyers Please magnets, to be put mailboxes.

Ms. Iwaniw reported that Residence has substituted its regular cleaning products to one that is approved by the Canadian Environmental Choice Award. This is an internationally recognized program and UTM is looking to expand this program to the rest of the campus.

She reported that a campus pride campaign has begun to help people recognize the beauty of the UTM campus. As part of this initiative, UTM has revived its anti-litter campaign. Pictures of waste offenders with their faces blocked out are posted in prominent areas to discourage littering. In addition, UTM has invited Communities In Bloom, a non-profit group, to conduct an assessment of the campus, with the goal of generating pride in the community about the beauty of the campus. A member suggested that it would be beneficial if Campus Police were consulted before pictures of waste offenders were distributed as part of the anti-litter campaign.

Professor Nicholas Collins, Chair of the Grounds Monitoring sub-committee continued the presentation. He reported that UTM’s successful partnership with the Evergreen Foundation, an environmental educational group, is continuing to grow. As part of this naturalization effort, UTM has invested $10,000 per year, with Evergreen contributing $24,000 to the project. This investment has allowed for 12 different planting events, with 1400 people involved, including 200 high school students. He announced that a large award was in the process of being granted to UTM. This award would provide for the hire of a facilitator of environmental, naturalization and educational efforts on campus for the next three and a half years at 60%. The partnership with Evergreen has also extended to work with ecology classes and internships in Environment 400. He added that naturalization efforts will be expanded in the future to include work on the new UTM entrance and the construction of the pond area.

Professor Collins also reported on behalf of the Grounds Monitoring Sub-committee (its first report since being made a sub-committee of the Resource Planning and Priorities Committee.) He explained that a Grounds Monitoring Policy was adopted by Erindale College Council in 1991, which lays out policy on pesticide and herbicide use, tree trimming and removal, use of ecological research areas, use of the campus ponds, guidelines for construction, and the availability of adequate resources for grounds maintenance. Some of the issues the sub-committee will consider in the near future, are, the proposed parking structure, refining of the existing system of trails, community involvement in landscape renovations, and encroachment by neighbours.

He continued the presentation with a report on transportation projects. He outlined increased transit options that are now available to students such as a free shuttle system subsidized by all UTM students (students no longer have to buy tickets to ride on the bus), improved Mississauga Transit routes, a carpooling and rideshare program, and a bike share program. UTM has also been designated as an anti-idling site with more educational material and signs being implemented throughout the campus in the coming months.

Ms. Iwaniw continued the presentation by talking about campus efforts regarding energy conservation projects. She reported that a program called, Green Star has been launched to educate the UTM community about improving administrative practice and purchasing in energy conservation. The Green Star symbol will be visible on printer trays, recycling bins, purchasing supply lists and other energy conservation areas.

The Dean of Student Affairs reported that UTM is working with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), which is a green building rating system, to make sure that our campus facilities are as environmentally friendly as possible. LEED helps organizations develop high performance sustainable buildings by evaluating specific criteria, such as site development, water savings, energy efficiency, material selection and indoor environmental quality. The Academic Learning Centre has been designated as striving to achieve a LEED Silver Level (one level above base line) and even though UTM is not seeking LEED certification for the new Recreation, Athletics and Wellness Centre (RAWC) and Phase 8 of Residence, both projects are adopting as many items of the LEED philosophy as possible.

As part of the Centre for Emerging Energy Technologies, UTM is installing a micro turbine in the central utility plant. As a result, four 60 Kw generators produce electricity locally, also benefiting UTM thorugh its thermal heat output, both in heating the central utility plant and in pre-chilling the material that the chiller uses. Other projects that are part of the activities of the Centre include the upcoming installation of the photovoltaic array, and UTM’s participation in the Hydrogen Village, which coordinates activities across the region. Under the umbrella of the Hydrogen Village, UTM is leading three projects: 1) using a fuel cell in the Computing Centre to provide emergency power supply, 2) moving some of UTM’s shuttle bus service to a hydrogen bus service as early as 2005-06, and 3) installing three closet sized fuel cells in one block of townhouses, which will generate enough power to provide hot water and space heating for these households.

UTM’s future plans include working with the City of Mississauga on the hybrid bus partnership, continuing to seek ways to achieve a green roof on the RAWC and increase the naturalized areas on campus. Mr. Overton stressed that as a bigger goal, these projects are meant to increase the environmental stewardship on campus and encourage individual departments incorporate these ideas into their practices.

The Dean of Student Affairs concluded the presentation by emphasizing that the GSGG initiative connects UTM to partners in the community such as: Ontario Power Generation, the Region of Peel, Outdoor Education, the City of Mississauga, Mississauga Transit, Evergreen, Sierra Youth Coalition and the Credit Valley Conservation Authority.

The Chair opened the floor to questions.

A member stated that UTM is organizing two upcoming recruitment events and asked committee members for suggestions on ways to showcase UTM’s naturalization efforts as part of these events.

A member asked about the costs associated with these projects. As one example, Ms. Iwaniw explained that cleaning products approved by the Canadian Environmental Choice Awards, although more expensive, also last longer. She added that cost / benefit analyses will be conducted on many projects to address budgetary concerns. The Dean of Student Affairs also added that investment into the micro turbine project would be recovered within two years.

In response to a member’s questions, Professor Collins explained that the Evergreen Naturalization Steering Committee is mandated to follow the grounds monitoring policy and that many of its reports flow through the Grounds Monitoring Subcommittee.

The Chair complimented the presenters on their work on these environmental projects and thanked them for sharing these initiatives with the Committee.

b) Update on Capital Construction Projects – Ben Louie

The Chair introduced Mr. Ben Louie, Development Manager, Capital Projects Department to members and invited him to begin his presentation.

Mr. Ben Louie began his report by summarizing the types of lecture halls, seminar rooms and faculty offices that are part of the CCIT building, which opened on September 7, 2004, with the completion of deficiencies scheduled for December of 2004. He explained that CCIT follows the direction set out in the Master Plan along a north/south axis beside the Middle Road and that the building and the parking garage were completed on budget at $34.6M, $12.9M respectively.

He proceeded to talk about the Recreation, Athletics & Wellness Centre (RAWC) and highlighted some of its programmatic features, such as, a main double gym with 700 spectator seats, a fitness centre with 300 stations, a 3-lane, 200 m elevated running track and a 25m, 8-lane pool for swimming, aqua fit and water polo. He reported that the building was 9% over budget, but that UTM has worked very hard with the contractors to reduce and possibly eliminate this overrun. Phase 1 of the project, which is the excavation and staging part, is at 90% completion. With an anticipated construction start in October of 2004, RAWC is scheduled to open in August of 2006.

Mr. Louie continued his report with the Hazel McCallion Academic Learning Centre (ALC). The ALC will emphasize teaching and learning services and will feature smart classrooms and a Library Café. The project is on budget, which is set at $34M. The construction is anticipated to start in late October of 2004, with a projected occupancy of June to August of 2006. Mr. Louie pointed out that the location of the building takes full advantage of the spectacular sight lines of the surrounding green space and the pond.

Mr. Louie concluded his presentation with Phase 8, to be located in the area near the middle of the student residence village, on top of Lot t#6. The height of the building is 5.5 floors, and will contain administrative and support facilities and a dining hall. He reported that the budget is set at $26.2M and had recently been revised to take advantage of an opportunity to build 7 additional bedrooms and increase the size of the dining hall. The design and development of Phase 8 has been completed, and construction on the project is scheduled for February of 2005, with the anticipated occupancy date of August 2006.

He added that as information became available, he would report back to the Committee on the parking garage project and the extension of The Collegeway, to become the new entrance to the campus.

The Chair opened the floor to questions.

In response to a member’s question about the tender process, Mr. Louie explained that now that all of the design documentation and specification drawings are completed, UTM has proceeded to the bidding phase, in which six reputable construction firms/ general contractors are invited to bid on the project. He noted that normally, these companies need 3-4 weeks to assemble projected costs.

A member commented about the lack of information provided to community members about Phase 8 of Residence. Mr. Louie explained that recently, progress has been made on the project program, budget, and its location and the team will soon be ready to proceed through the governance review process. He added that in the near future, he would be happy to give a project update to Erindale College Council.

In response to a member’s question about the nearness of Phase 8 to the natural area around Colman Lounge, the Dean of Student Affairs stressed that project planners are aware of this concern and are focused on preserving the natural area. Mr. Louie added that the planning team is also working to reduce the size of the building, while maintaining the net assignable square footage areas.

A member asked for an update on the new entrance to UTM. Mr. Louie explained that there has been a delay due to some opposition from Mississauga Road residents, but added that UTM is working through the required approval mechanisms to proceed with the project, projected to start in the spring of 2005. In answer to a member’s question, he reported that the parking structure will be located near the entrance to the campus and that planners are working with the landscape component to have the structure blend into the topography. In response to concerns expressed regarding a traffic bottleneck, he stated that a traffic study has been completed to address this issue and its recommendations will be incorporated into the design of the entranceway.

5. Other Business

There was no other business.

6. Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Resource Planning and Priorities Committee is scheduled for Monday, October 25, 2004.

The meeting was adjourned at 4:25 p.m. (N. Collins / C. Capewell)

Secretary of Council _______________________ Chair ___________________

November 12, 2004