It's only a small step forward, but it's still a step in the right direction. University of Calgary campus radio station CJSW was given the green light from vice-provost students Ann Tierney and the university to go to tender, meaning their new space may be built within the decade.
Station manager Chad Saunders explained what this bureaucratic term means to the CJSW new space project now that the station is finally able to start accepting bids.
"[Going to] tender means you ask companies who are interested in the project and inquire about the costs to complete the project," he explained. "Tender is by no means a binding agreement, just how much a company thinks it's going to cost. The costs are quite competitive."
Since CJSW has just started going through the bid inquiry process for construction and estimates are not yet available. Saunders is in constant communication with Tierney to ensure everything goes as planned.
Students' Union vice-president operations and finance Alex Judd, sits on CJSW's board.
"We had received a letter from the Provost Operations Group, through Ann Tierney that stated, 'These are the conditions that you have to meet before you can go to tender,' " said Judd. "Mutually CJSW and [the SU] had some issues with that, so Brian [Milne, chairman of the board for CJSW] and I drafted a response. We've also been meeting with [associate VP student services] Jim Dunsdon and Ann Tierney."
Like much of the construction at the university, the process has been slow-going. Saunders explained the tendering process started almost a full year ago.
"In November of last year, we started the whole process and re-engaged the architects Gibbs Gage," said Judd. "When we started it, the hope was we would have some tenders and some ideas back by Christmas time."
Judd further stated the SU's finds this step an achievement for the radio station.
"We're quite excited about it," she said. "This has been an issue going on for a really long time. Nothing is final, we're still waiting to find out how much it costs, but if the costs are something that CJSW is able to pursue, it's definitely a step forward that's been a long time coming. Ideally, we'll find out the costs in the next couple weeks and then CJSW will be using their funding drive to make up for what's missing."
The process has gone on for nearly 14 years, ever since the initial contention over the CJSW and SU operating agreement in 1994. After the revised agreement was signed in April 2005, the process of the new space started again. When the project was estimated to cost $1.2 million, construction had to be halted.
The new space project, which was previously managed by the SU, was taken over by the university's campus infrastructure project management division.