The Desautels Faculty of Management will be taking over the McGill Bookstore building – the faculty’s MBA and PhD programs are expected to be operating in the Bookstore space by Winter 2016. The future location of the Bookstore has yet to be determined.
According to Management Undergraduate Society (MUS) President Sean Finnell, the Management faculty is currently operating at an estimated 60,000 square foot space deficit in the Bronfman building, where all of its programs are currently housed. The building, originally built to hold 1,500 students, is now occupied by 2,500. “[This change could mean] a lot more study rooms, a lot more study space, more classrooms. We’re less likely to have, you know, 6 p.m. exams on a Friday night, so definitely everybody is pretty excited about that,” Finnell told The Daily in an interview.
With post-grad programs leaving the Bronfman building, BCom students will be left with an extra floor to use for student space. MUS is hoping to release a survey by the end of the month to determine how Management undergraduates want to see the space used. “We’re just basically going to get a feel for [student opinion] so we can accurately represent the undergraduate students when we lobby for various features in the architectural plans that will be put together next semester,” said Finnell. MUS plans to submit a report on the survey to the faculty in December.
In an email to The Daily, McGill Vice-Principal (Administration and Finance) Michael Di Grappa explained that the move is a long time coming. “Desautels has been looking to expand for at least the last four years and a number of options about how to solve their space crunch have been considered during that time. We actually began to consider the bookstore option about four months ago.”
Although students were not involved in the decision to overtake the Bookstore specifically, students input did factor into the recognition of a space deficit, according to Finnell. “In terms of students, we were just begging for more space,” he said.
While the Bookstore takeover is a sure thing, the new location of the Bookstore is not. “It will be moved. As yet, we don’t know where it will go,” said Di Grappa.
Di Grappa indicated that the administration is looking at other university bookstores as examples, and is considering an emphasis on online sales. “We have undertaken studies to determine best practices in the retailing of textbooks and other material,” said Di Grappa. “What is clear is that the bookstore does not need all the space it is presently occupying and that the Desautels Faculty of Management […] needs more space, preferably adjoining space, [which] the bookstore provides.”
Despite the uncertainty, Di Grappa says students should not expect the move to delay students’ textbook purchases. “No, we do not anticipate that this will cause delays. There will be a new location established. We will very likely undertake the move during a time when there are few students on campus (perhaps the Christmas holiday period).”