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Tech park dream closer to reality First phase could open next spring SUSAN BUBAK lmprint staff


t the Waterloo City Council meeting on May 7, the city agreed to contribute $6.7 million toward the $214 million research and technology park to be built on UW's north campus. Although the project still needs regional, provincial and federal funding, proponents are confident that the park will generate revenues that far exceed its $214 million price tag. "It's a win-win situation for everybody," said city councillor Scott Jones. "It's an opportunity for the community and the university to advance in the way of technology, open up the job market and create career opportunities for [UW]graduates and co-op students." The research and technology park will cater to high-tech firms, creatingup to 6,000 jobs, $10 billion in exports and research opportunities with the university. In addition, the park will help curb the brain drain by providing UW co-op students and graduates with local jobs. Once complete, the park is expected to generate $1 million a year in tax revenues for the city and $1.9 million a year for Waterloo Region. Associate provost, general services and finance, Dennis Huber explained that all development projects on UW property must meet certain criteria. The research and technology park will meet these criteria by

creating "employment opportunities and research possibilities with the university," said Huber. "All students benefit from that." The park will be built in three phases, the first of which could be open for business by next spring. "If we're going to have occupied space by spring 2002, we need to have a shovel in the ground by this fall," said Paul Eichinger, the city's director of economic development. The park will be constructed on a 100-acre site on UW's underdeveloped north campus. With 1.2 million square feet of office space in several buildings, the park will increase the city's vacancy rate, which stands at 2 per cent. A number of prospective tenants are already vying for units in Phase 1,which will provide 400,000 square feet of floor space. The park's acceleratorcentre will help start-ups get on their feet. "It's good for entrepreneurs," saidJones. "It will help [new] businesses get going." There are also plans to modernize the transit system with a railway line that will connect the park to the main campus, downtown Waterloo and Kitchener. In the wake of the controversy that surrounded the decades-old maple tree that was cut down to make room for the new CECS building, proponents say that the park will include ample green space. Columbia Lake will also be environmentally protected.

The university's previous attempts to develop the park were not successful for.a variety of reasons. This time around, the university will apply for SuperBuild funding that will cover up to two-thirds of the park's infrastructure costs. In addition, a partnership was formed between the university, City of Waterloo, Waterloo Region, Communitech,(a high-tech business

association),and Canada's Technology Triangle (a marketing group). In addition to the city's $6.7 million contribution, Waterloo Region will be asked for another $6.7 million, the federal and provincial governments are expected to put forth $13.4 million each, the university will provide 100 acres of land worth $20 million and the private sector will contribute the remaining

$153.8 million. Kitchener-Waterloo MP and UW alumnus Andrew Telegdi said that "[the park] is going to be good for this region; it's going to be good for this province and it's going to be good for this country." Councillor Brent Needham added that "this technologypark will preserve our ability to compete nationally and globally."

Lumsden says sky isn't falling RYAN MATTHEW MERKLEY Imprint staff

New co-op building rankles students CHRIS EDEY special to lmprint

till nothing more than a large hole adjacent to South Campus Hall, the new CECS building has already generated frustration and resentment among some UW students, especially within the faculty of environmental studies. Students are not only upset

about the $25 co-op fee increase necessary to financethe new building but are also lamenting the loss of the giant maple tree which had been providing shade and a resting place for UW students over the past half-century. The removal of the majestic maple tree to make room for the construction is drawing ire from students. Director, co-operative educa-

tion and career services Bruce Lumsden commented that "it's a shame to see old trees go, but trees do have a lifespan." Plans have been made to incorporate the wood into the new facility in some way. Kaline Charrey, a masters student in architecture, feels that "trees certainly do have a lifespan, but why please see page 4

espite recent layoffs and hiring freezes, director of co-op education and career servicesBruce Lutnsden is tellingstudents not to panic. On April 25, California-based CiscoSystemsannounced the closing of its newly-acquired Pixstream offices, and the layoff of all 220 employees who worked there. Included among the layoffswere 17UW co-op students. Since then, Lumsden says that all but two of the students have found other placements, "but even they might have found jobs since yesterday," he said. Cisco isn't the only company to have announced layoffsin past weeks. Last week, quietly closed its Waterloo-based research office, office manager Carol Betts told Imprint.

In addition to recent layoffs, two major employers, Dell and Nortel, told many of their summer interns that they would not have placements for the summer. Lumsden said that although Nortel employsabout 100 co-op students a year, there is only one student placed with them for the summer. Although the student had their co-op term shortened, Lurnsden said Nortel is "still very committed to coop." Lumsden couldn't identify any other companies that had cancelled co-op positions due to the recent tech shake-up. "I'mnotaware of them because it happens all the time, and it's not unusual," he said. "It's a part of the normal business of doing co-op." Lumsden said that co-op has between 2,800 and 3,000 employers and that the lost co-op jobs please see page 4


ployees who worked there. Included among the layoffswere 17 UW co-op students. Since then, Lumsden says that all but two of the students hav...


ployees who worked there. Included among the layoffswere 17 UW co-op students. Since then, Lumsden says that all but two of the students hav...