York announces plans to demolish Ross Building to make room for popular sunglasses retailer
Many members of the York community expressed concern on Monday after a new university development project was announced that would see the entirety of York’s historic Ross Building demolished to make room for the construction of a state-of-the-art seven-storey Sunglass Hut.
While representatives from the popular Milan-based retailer of designer sunglasses and sunglass accessories expressed excitement over the location of their newest boutique store, others in the university community have criticized the move for the negative impact they claim it will have on the departments that currently reside in the Ross Building, as well as the university atmosphere in general.
“This is absolutely ridiculous,” says one professor, who did not wish to be identified. “When will the university stop treating this institution like a mall and start treating it like a school?”
Responding to criticism, university officials have insisted that the decision was made solely for the benefit of students and maintained that the university will receive little to no financial benefit from the decision.
“This is what students want,” stated York president Mamdouh Shoukri at Monday’s press conference.
“We here at York are in touch with our students, and if there’s one thing students have demanded time and time again, it’s sunglasses, sunglasses, and more sunglasses,” affirmed Shoukri, sporting a promotional pair of red-and-white Ray-Ban Wayfarers. “I’ve had countless first-hand conversations with my executive assistant about the feedback we received from the focus group we hired to interview experts on post-secondary education, and the feedback I am getting is that this is a good decision that is going to benefit everyone.”
In regards to concerns about the fate of the Faculty of Liberal Arts as well as the numerous resource and support centres that are currently housed in the Ross Building, Shoukri assured the York community that the disruption to university operations will be “minimal,” and that all offices will be relocated to portables adjoining the East Office Building on the northern edge of campus at the beginning of the summer when classes are not in session.
While construction is scheduled to begin in the late summer and is slated for completion by fall 2013, there have been rumours that renovations could be pushed back as much as a year until the university completes existing renovations, including the construction of a Baskin-Robbins in the atrium of the Scott Library, which is currently running behind schedule
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