The number of current undergraduate students enrolled at the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) is at a record high for the university for the 2018/2019 academic year, and the university does not have enough adequate space.
Currently, according to a statement released by the university, over 14,000 students are enrolled, making it the largest number of students UTM has hosted in 50 years. With the increase in students has come increased demand for resources and space.
In an interview with The Medium, Chief Librarian Shelley Hawyrchuk stated, “There was over-capacity from a fire code perspective. There were more people in the building than we were allowed to have, so we moved some seating across campus.”
The library removed a number of study carrels and placed them in other building like on the second floor of CCIT building, but the library’s number of visitors have not seemed to drop, with students sitting in between the aisles of bookshelves in an effort to find space.
The UTM shuttle bus services have also seen an influx in numbers. The total number of passengers on the St. George shuttle route reached approximately 320,000 last year, surpassing the previous year by 20,000. The total number of passengers on the St. George shuttle route exceeded 36,000 passengers this past September alone.
UTM student Kimiko Yamaguchi told The Medium, “There aren’t enough shuttles. I wasn’t left behind, but there was a massive line behind me that had to wait for the next one. And the line just kept on growing.”
“Double buses were added at key departure times during rush hour to alleviate this issue,” UTM’s Parking and Transportation Assistant Marcia Soto told The Medium.
During the town hall meeting in September, 2017, Principal Ulrich Krull discussed the resolution to this student influx that being the completion of the North Building. Stuart Olson Inc. construction crews are reconstructing what is said to be the “hub” of the UTM campus. UTM’s Facilities Management & Planning department originally projected that the construction crew would complete renovations by the summer of 2018. They have shifted this date to December 2018.
The entire middle section of the building is currently blocked off, occupied by construction workers. Many classrooms on the first and second floors are still unavailable for use.
Additional study spaces will be offered in the North Building when the construction is fully completed. Currently, students cannot book any of the 10 group study rooms in the North building. However, when the rooms become available, an additional 60 seats will open up to make a total of 161 seats of formal study spaces. The building will also have a variety of informal public study areas comprised of bench and bleacher seating that will accommodate approximately 450 people.