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Student space starts construction this year

SAIT students will soon see their own space when SAITSA breaks ground on a new headquarters in the spring.

“It’s going to be all student focused space,” said Shona White, SAITSA marketing and communications assistant manager.

The building is to be completed by the summer of 2020. Students have contributed to this new building since 2009 through their student union dues.

The new building will be a non-academic student-owned and operated building.The building allocates spaces for clubs to meet as well as storage spaces. There will be study areas as well as quiet study spaces.

Students can also look forward to a new “top of the line” Gateway in the new space.

“You think the view from the Gateway patio is good now, you should see what it’s going to be like from this building.”

The new Gateway will have two floors and a patio facing the Calgary downtown core.
“It’s going to be the best spot in the city,” said White.

Students will also have space to do a few different extracurricular activities.

White held six focus groups, made up of full-time students, apprentices, SAIT staff and SAITSA staff, to determine what should go in the building.

“There will probably be bookable space for students to run their own businesses,” said White.
The building will have three outlets for small business.

“Ultimately, I think the club space will be the biggest thing,” said Alex Dimopoulos, SAITSA President.

“Clubs will have somewhere to meet or to have meetings. They don’t have to chase rooms.
“Everyone that’s been at SAIT for years has all been contributing to this which is cool,” said Dimopoulos.

In 2009, the SAITSA Board of Directors held a referendum and students voted to contribute to the SAITSA Restricted Building Fund.

In 2015, SAITSA held another referendum and students voted to release the money and start the process of planning the new building.

Students raised $10 million towards the $20 million to $25 million cost of the headquarters.
The plans are being put forward in a request to the Alberta government to cover the remaining amount.

Gibbs Gage Architects were chosen to design the building. They also designed the Johnson Cobb building and the Aldred Centre.

The plans and images of the new building are all available at saitsahq.com

“There’s a lot of classrooms, but I think campus needed more space for people to hang out,” said Dimopoulos.

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