Mid-to-late November was the original date for the pub to be opened, but later estimates were late December and early January. It is now expected to be opened by mid-to-late January.
Justin Quigley, UMSU vice-president (internal), noted that the permit was not only delayed, but “majorly delayed,” much more than either the construction team or UMSU executive could have anticipated.
The construction permit is an approval by the City of Winnipeg for a space to be designated as an official construction site, so that city officials and experts can study the space’s mechanical, electrical and structural plans, as well as UMSU’s proposal for the space, to ensure that no errors have been made and everything follows code specific to the city.
Quigley mentioned that the major function of a construction permit is to create a situation in which approval can be received from inspectors, which then allows UMSU to do the finishing work on the space. “Such as closing the walls in and all the processes following that,” he said.
“As such, a lot of construction was done prior to receiving the actual construction permit, because there are a lot of things that need to be put in place before the inspectors are able to do their job on the Hub’s site,” he explained.
UMSU applied for the construction permit in early August this past summer.
“This was the longest anyone on UMSU’s construction team ever had to wait for a construction permit,” he commented.
A spokesperson from the City of Winnipeg said that the time taken to approve an application for a construction permit varies with the complexity of the site.
This gave UMSU “plenty of time” to do all of the preparations for construction, such as reaching suppliers for materials and receiving said materials, demolition of the previous space, fine-tuning of item placement, furniture decisions, receiving of furniture and hiring, Quigley said.
He said the hiring for The Hub has been mostly concluded, as the pub manager was hired several months ago and the assistant manager and head of security started last month.
“We recognized that they needed time in order to organize their responsibilities and provide input on the space they would essentially be running,” he said.
Quigley explained that UMSU is planning to organize a grand opening week-long series of events with “aims to show students and those interested of the capabilities of this on-campus bar.”
He said that this can be done through having a first rez and country night, booking the space for a major event or having a variety of entertainments for those spending the evening at the pub.
“But out of all of this, you can expect a grand opening of a week’s worth of events that will be advertised soon,” said Quigley.
Quigley noted that one of the most asked questions from students during the term has been “when is the new pub opening?”
“This indicates that the word is getting out on the pub within the larger community,” he said.
“What we have done thus far is produce some videos to highlight that we have begun construction, posters for hiring have been extremely successful in getting the word out as well.”
Janhvi Pandit, a faculty of arts student, said that the delay in the pub’s opening was a slight upset because there were a lot of expectations attached to it.
She said that most people know about the pub due to word-of-mouth and the posters put up seeking employees.
“It would be nice if it was more publicized, putting the posters all over campus would be a good idea,” Pandit said.
“A grand opening for The Hub will give it a proper start.”
Zohaib Kadiwal, a visiting student in the faculty of science, said it seems most students are really excited to have a pub on campus.
“The delay in the construction of The Hub is OK, it was something we could not do anything about,” he said.
photo by miguel yetman