Staff, students at uCalgary concerned about deferred maintenance costs

March 16, 2015

Staff and students at the University of Calgary are concerned about how the institution will address $450 M in deferred maintenance given anticipated cuts to the province's PSE budget, reports the Calgary Herald. "Our maintenance, staff electricians, plumbers, you name it, are stressed to the limit," said Kevin Barry, Chair of Local 52 of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees, which represents 4,000 staff members at uCalgary. Barry said that the university has been turning to outside contractors to perform upgrades, while internal staff work to stay on top of maintenance work. According to the Herald, a uCalgary Management Discussion Analysis document identifies deferred maintenance as a "significant financial risk." According to the document, a reduction in provincial Infrastructure Maintenance Program funding "significantly impacts the university's ability to proactively manage and address this deferred maintenance balance." Meanwhile, students say that there's a critical need for more classroom and study space. uCalgary VP Academic Dru Marshall agreed that deferred maintenance is an issue. "The [provincial] funding does not meet the full requirement and we acknowledge this is an issue. We are working collaboratively with the ministry to address it," she said. Calgary Herald