Renovations near completion, including gender-neutral washrooms
By Mercedes Deutscher, News Editor
After an entire semester filled with blocked-off hallways, students can expect an entirely new south side of the New Westminster campus.
The renovations, which began in mid-February, were completed just in time for the Fall semester. They will allow the New Westminster campus to provide space for engineering courses, which will be part of the college’s new Engineering Diploma program.
The differences made by the renovations are already noticeable when entering the first floor hallway in the South building. The grey of the old carpets was replaced by a vibrant black and green. Formerly windowless classrooms now have access to natural lighting. Five new classrooms were installed, and another 22 classrooms were renovated, according to a Douglas news release.
All renovations managed to be completed on schedule, and managed to keep to its $9.3-million budget. However, it did require the college to request the city of New Westminster to allow an exception for late night construction.
While Douglas is now better equipped to accommodate engineering students, it is also better equipped to accommodate students from all areas of the gender spectrum.
The college announced on August 16 that it would be converting all single-stall washrooms at both New Westminster and David Lam into gender-neutral ones. Most off these washrooms are wheelchair accessible as well.
Two former Douglas students—Milo Leraar, former DSU Pride Liaison; and Brett Collins—helped to bring the change, along with Jamie Yard, who instructs an Anthropology class on gender and sexuality.
All three were inspired to push for the gender-neutral washrooms after hearing the demand firsthand from other Douglas students.
“Students, faculty and staff need to know that they can get their biological needs met on campus without hassle. This is a big piece in making our campuses safe and inclusive places to learn and work,” Yard said to Douglas is Here.