Tuesday 28 August 2018

Lock, Stock, and Barrel!

For the past 46 years, ICS has made its home at 229 College Street. On September 1, 2018, we will start the school year off in a new home, a freshly renovated office suite in the lower level of Knox College on 59 St. George Street, at the heart of the University of Toronto’s St. George campus. As we look back with fondness on our tenure at 229 College, and all the blessings we experienced while there--including many great achievements--we also look forward to the fantastic opportunity for ICS that this move makes possible.

September will be a challenging month, as we still have many hurdles to jump after we load-in the things we are taking with us from 229 College. As I write this, ICS staff are busy packing and emptying out our offices at 229 College. At the same time, the renovation of our space at Knox is very nearly complete. Our movers and some finishing trades will have to work around each other on move-in day, but everyone understands the situation and are working to help us meet our deadline to vacate 229.

Faculty, staff, and students are all bracing to meet the coming challenges facing our transition to the new space. Because we are moving into roughly 1000 less square feet of space than we used to have, we have invested in new modular office furniture, which has now been ordered and will be custom built to make the most efficient use of our reduced footprint (see diagram, right). We expect the workstations to be delivered and installed in late September/ early October. In the meantime, all ICS faculty and staff will have to make do with working from our old classroom tables and whatever chairs we can scrape together!

We are currently also still investigating the best solution for our communications needs, including telephone system and internet. We are exploring several options right now, and we want to get this decision right. This move is an opportunity for us to improve our current systems and bring them up to date, and to find the most cost effective way to do so. The top priority is to provide wifi internet throughout our space as soon as possible. Ethernet connections will likely not be ready until after our systems furniture has been installed. While we determine what our new phone system will look like, we are planning to forward calls to 416-979-2331 to a temporary cell phone, and assign staff to monitor this phone regularly for messages and relay them to the relevant parties.

We will definitely be drawing on the patience and creativity of our faculty, staff, and students in the coming days and weeks, as we work together through the hiccups we will no doubt face in the early days of operating in our new home. Even so, I am personally excited about how the new space is shaping up. In the end, it will be a wonderful base of operations for our graduate school, and a new beginning for ICS in so many different ways. Please pray that our move will go smoothly!