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Phillip Stapor

New prayer space faces further delays

By Scott Strasser, December 11 2015 —

The University of Calgary’s new multi-purpose prayer space will not be ready until January due to construction delays. 

Known as the Vitruvian Space, the area was originally slated to open in the Dining Centre this September. The room was then expected to be ready by late November, but has now been delayed again. 

SU Wellness Centre community engagement manager Adriana Tulissi said there were some problems with the flooring that took more time than anticipated, among other issues.

“The plumbing needed for the ablution stations resulted in discovering some old piping issues and we needed to drill and trench the concrete floor to bring everything up to code,” Tulissi said.

The Vitruvian Space is now set to open on Jan. 4. The space will be made up of four multi-purpose spaces — the largest of which will accommodate up to 170 people. The others can accommodate 30–50 people at once.

“The Vitruvian Space will provide dedicated space for religious observance and activities related to health and well-being, such as quiet contemplation, prayer and meditation,” Tulissi said.  

According to Tulissi, noise disturbances from construction meant much of the work had to be done outside regular working hours, slowing down the project.

The current prayer spaces on the third floor of MacHall can only accommodate about 60 people at a time. In the past students have had to pray in the hallway beside the prayer rooms due to lack of space.

Due to high demand, overflow prayer space was set aside in the Loft on the fourth floor of MacHall this semester. Praying students could use the Loft when the multi-purpose prayer rooms were fully booked.

According to their most recent annual report, the Faith and Spirituality Centre serviced more than 1,800 students per week in 2014–15.

Tulissi said the Vitruvian Space is awaiting occupancy approval from the city as well as furniture, way-finding signage and electronic schedulers.

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