Report: February 21, 2005



Report of the RESOURCE PLANNING & PRIORITIES COMMITTEE of Erindale College Council held on Monday, February 21, 2005 at 3:10 p.m., in Room 3138.

Present: R. Beck (in the Chair), I. Orchard, R. deSouza, D. Crocker, S. O’Connell, K. Krupica, J. Linley, B. Schneider, M. Jalland, K. Hannah-Moffat, D. Pond, R. Reisz, P. King, N. Collins, S. Munro, S. Kibria
Regrets: U. Krull, M. Lord

Professor Beck welcomed the Committee’s two newest members, Professor David Pond from the Department of Political Science and Professor Robert Reisz from the department of Biology.

1. Adoption of the Agenda

The Agenda was approved. (I. Orchard/R. deSouza)

2. Minutes of the Previous Meeting (January 10, 2005)

The report of the previous meeting was approved. (D. Crocker / J. Linley)

3. Business Arising from the Minutes

a) Consideration of the ancillary budgets in the future: Information Sessions – Roger Beck.

The Chair stated that the Executive Committee discussed the narrow timeframe for consideration of the ancillary budgets. He explained that ancillaries have to proceed through the necessary governance approvals within a limited time and the earlier this process begins, the less accurate and reliable financial figures are available.

Recognizing the narrow timeframe for consideration of the ancillaries, members of the Executive Committee discussed how the time constraint issue could be addressed and recommended that Information Sessions on ancillaries, similar to those conducted by Governing Council be instituted for the next academic year. Professor Beck reported that these sessions provide members with an opportunity to ask questions in a less formal setting and show how proposals presented for approval are developed. Actual details of the proposals may not be available for these meetings, but estimates would be given. These sessions would allow members to gain a more thorough understanding of ancillaries before they would be asked to approve them. Information Sessions are also planned for curriculum matters.

b) Election of New Chair

Professor Beck expressed his thanks to Professor Robert Baker for Chairing the Resource Planning and Priorities Committee for the past year. He then reminded members that a call for nominations of a new Chair had been announced at the previous meeting and circulated throughout the campus. He proceeded to invite nominations from the floor for a new Chair. Prof. Robert Reisz was nominated to serve as Chair. There being no other nominations, Prof. Reisz was elected as the Chair of the Resource Planning and Priorities Committee by acclamation.

4. New Business:

a) Update on Capital Projects

i) Phase 8 Update – Ben Louie, Development Manager Capital Projects and Trevor Pereira, Project Manager, Moffat Kinoshita Architects

Mr. Pereira reported that the Phase 8 construction site posed the challenge of how to integrate the proposed building with the surrounding buildings and residences. Accommodating 424 students in 15 distinct housing groups, Phase 8 attempts to incorporate extensive landscaped areas in an effort to sustain the surrounding natural areas. He presented existing architectural renderings of the building and talked about the pedestrian movement from the other surrounding residences of Roy Ivor Hall and Erindale Hall. He noted that the main entrance becomes the focus of the building from the intersection of the inner circle and Residence Road. He also reported that there was a conscious effort to break up the massing of the very large building and respond to the challenge of accommodating a large number of rooms without a compromise in the aesthetic look of the building. This consideration has resulted in the creation of two public areas – a large one at the front of the building and a smaller one located at the back. These areas contribute to the street life around the new phase on Residence Road. The break up of the building’s massing was also achieved concerning its height, with sections of both four and five floor heights. The material palette of Phase 8 is in keeping with the surrounding buildings. He added that the building will house a café and student lounges, with transparent views to the outside.

The Chair opened the floor to discussion.

In response to a member’s question, it was explained that the path connecting Erindale Hall to the new building would be maintained as closely to the existing path as possible.

Also in response to a member’s question, Mr. Louie explained that architectural renderings would be available on the web as soon as tenders close, approximately on March 17, 2005.

ii) Capital Construction Projects and Secondary Effects update – Ben Louie

The Chair called on Mr. Louie to continue his report with on other capital projects and their secondary effects. Mr. Louie noted that four major capital projects are ongoing during 2005/06 including the Recreation Athletics and Wellness Centre, the Hazel McCallion Academic Learning Centre, Phase 8, and the parking garage project. New measures to handle the resulting anticipated construction traffic would be implemented in order to maintain a safe environment. He reported that the traffic and safety model is based on the one used by Pearson Airport during their new terminal construction project. The project team will work in conjunction with Campus Police, Facilities and the Dean of Students office and the Office of Advancement to implement a traffic and safety plan.

He reported that the preparatory site work for the Recreation Athletics and Wellness Centre was completed during the summer, with current construction efforts focusing on the foundation. He added that as part of this project, planners had to resolve some service problems, including the repair of the main sanitary line, which cuts through the building site.

He noted that the Hazel McCallion Academic Learning Centre was the first LEED certified building with student study areas being the focus. He reported that construction had been delayed due to the weather and that a model of the facility is available for view in the UTM Library. He explained that major construction for the Phase 8 project would not begin until after the end of exams. He further reported that UTM was working with the City of Mississauga, the Grounds Monitoring and the Transportation and Parking subcommittees to advance the parking garage project. Improvements to Mississauga Road are scheduled to begin on June 15 and are likely to finish by September 1, with work on the new campus entrance occurring at the same time.

The Chair opened the floor to discussion.

In reply to a member’s question regarding traffic and pedestrian safety, Mr. Louie explained that speed bumps were removed and more formal, illuminated crosswalks would be installed throughout the campus. In addition, flashing lights would be introduced close to the entrance of the underground parking garage to address sight issues. There would also be signage at the construction entrance to differentiate areas of the campus. In response to a member’s question about noise levels due to construction around the residence area, Mr. Louie explained that UTM was working within municipal bylaws and would keep construction to between 8:00 a.m. and approximately 7:00 p.m., with special accommodations being made during exams. Mr. Louie noted that all of the crosswalks and signalled lighting would remain on campus after completion of all the construction projects.

In response to a member’s question about when the CCIT building would be completed, Mr. Louie explained that UTM is dealing with a non-performing sub-trade contractor, and would continue to pursue all avenues to address this problem. He added that a working group is also meeting to improve the functionality of classrooms.

A member commented that the CCIT project user’s committee stopped meeting after the architects finished their work, and suggested that project planning committees should continue to meet throughout the entire planning and completion process to avoid the kind of problems encountered with the CCIT building.

b) Alternate Delivery of Parking Services – Mr. Ray deSouza, CAO

The Chief Administrative Officer reported that UTM currently has 2600 parking spaces and during the 2005/06 academic year there will be severe pressure and demand for an additional 700 to 900 parking spaces. In order to meet the demand and respond to a campus population nearing 12,000, UTM is planning to build an above-ground parking garage, while continuing to work on filling the underground parking garage. Mr. deSouza noted that pursuing the alternate service provider for parking will allow UTM to continue its commitment to preserving green space by avoiding additional paved surface lots. Moreover, the project allows UTM to avoid the severe financial implications of the CCIT underground parking garage. Mr. deSouza explained the per-spot cost differentials between surface ($2600), underground ($35,000) and above-ground ($25,000) parking lots.

Mr. deSouza reported that UTM first issued a Request For Information, followed by a Request For Proposals, which yielded three proposals. These were then narrowed down to one outstanding parking service provider. Currently, UTM is negotiating with Standard Parking and the other partners of the arrangement, Ellis Don, and CIBC, the financier. He noted that the garage would be built on Lot #4 as laid out in the Master Plan and added that planners have and will continue to consult with the Transportation and Parking and the Grounds Monitoring subcommittees to inform UTM’s negotiations.

Mr. deSouza emphasized that UTM would retain full control and ownership of the parking ancillary, similar to the food services ancillary and its arrangement with the food service provider and that parking policies, procedures and rates would remain the responsibility of UTM and Governing Council. The alternate service provider would have responsibility of the parking operations on campus. He also noted that any human resource implications would be dealt with in accordance with existing collective agreements between the University of Toronto and the relevant collective bargaining unit.

He referred members to the executive summary that was distributed with the agenda for further information on the proposal.

It was duly moved and seconded,

THAT the Alternate Delivery of Parking Services as described in the Executive Summary, attached hereto as Appendix A, be approved. (R. deSouza / I. Orchard)

The Chair opened the floor to discussion.

The Vice-President and Principal noted that the University of Toronto is working under the constraints of a borrowing cap. The proposed parking service provider would alleviate this problem in that the company would hold the mortgage on the garage and UTM would pay them a fee.

In response to a member’s question about the potential risk that this arrangement could pose, Mr. deSouza explained that the proposed agreement is sound and is reinforced by the partnership of CIBC. He added that auditors were closely examining the details of the financing agreement.

A member asked about the human resource implications of the project. The Chief Administrative Officer noted that one unionized employee is affected by this project and that this employee has several options as laid out in the relevant collective agreement.

In response to a member’s question about the remaining vacant spots in the CCIT parking garage, Mr. deSouza explained that the garage was not fully completed at the beginning of the academic year, which may account for some of the vacancy. He also noted that plans were underway to install cash parking areas and to sell the remaining spots to construction crews.

In response to a member’s question, Mr. deSouza confirmed that UTM’s process of setting parking rates and its progress through governance would remain the same. A member asked why the parking garage would be built on top of Lot #4 and not Lot #2. The Chief Administrative Officer explained that Lot#4 was chosen for its strategic location near the new entrance to the campus in order to prevent traffic from pervading the centre of the campus. In addition, he noted that Lot #2 is currently experiencing problems with storm water drainage, which would make it a difficult site on which to build. He emphasized however that the most pressing reason for the Lot#4 location, was that it would prevent the passage of 1000 cars through the campus and the resulting traffic problems this would create.

A member asked for a description of the arrangement with the parking service provider. Mr. deSouza explained that Standard Parking would hold the mortgage on the facility and after collecting revenues, would remit them to UTM less their direct expenses. UTM would then pay Standard Parking a management fee and would own the facility after 20 years.

In response to a member’s question about the rates for the above-ground parking garage, Mr. deSouza confirmed that the fee would be the same as for unreserved lots.

Regarding environmental responsibility, a member commented that UTM is still encouraging driving with the addition of this new parking garage. Mr. deSouza noted that UTM has implemented such initiatives as carpooling and increased public transit routes. However, he added that approximately 30% of the campus population still use cars to travel to the campus and this would be difficult to avoid. He noted that approximately 70% of carpooling spaces were sold this year.

A member suggested that the Committee wait until the Transportation Town Hall meeting with Transportation Minister Takhar before making a decision to proceed with the parking garage and commented that there would be no opportunity for members to provide input beyond the current meeting. The Vice-President and Principal noted that this issue would receive input from many areas of governance, including Erindale College Council and several Boards and Committees of Governing Council and has already had the input of the Transportation and Parking subcommittee.

The motion was called to question. The motion was carried.

5. Other Business

A member commented that it was her hope that administration would take an interest in introducing a childcare project plan during the next academic year. The Vice-President and Principal stated that the Dean of Students is in the process of establishing a planning committee, with Professor Amy Mullin from the Department of Philosophy acting as its Chair.

6. Next Meeting

The next meeting of Resource Planning and Priorities Committee will be on Monday, March 21, 2005.

The meeting adjourned at 4:45 p.m. (S. O’Connell/D. Crocker)

Secretary _______________________________ Chair __________________________

March 11, 2005