I’m Sorry

by julia.hanigsberg | January 6th, 2014

I want to apologize to the Ryerson community for the quality of the paint work on the Gould and Victoria Streets pedestrian way. At Ryerson, we pride ourselves on innovation and entrepreneurship, creating an extraordinary student experience and an environment where we put People First. In the Administration & Finance team we hold as one of our key values execution: the ability to get things done. With the resurfacing of Gould and Victoria Streets we fell short on this commitment. I am extremely sorry and my Campus Facilities & Sustainability team is doing everything it can to make things right.

I want you to understand what happened, and what we are doing to rectify the situation.

First, we were inspired by the great work done in New York’s Times Square and wanted to make an exciting splash for the week of welcome when students returned to the University in September. We soon realized we couldn’t complete the design we wanted in time so we decided to do a phase 1 that would be bright and express our blue and gold pride. We did the work in a rush. We put speed ahead of quality of application. That was our first mistake.

Second, when it came time to execute the phase 2 we worked with our designer on a design that was dynamic and incorporated some needed wayfinding. Our testing of the adhesion of the new paint to the existing phase 1 paint was not sufficiently extensive. Testing failed to reveal that the new durable epoxy paint was going to peel off our phase 1 paint. Again, we were rushing because the weather was getting colder and we had a narrow range of temperature when the epoxy could be applied. I required my team complete the work before the temperature dropped. That was my mistake.

Thus, shortly after we completed our “final” effect, it was shortlived. The paint started to peel immediately. Efforts at repair were ineffective and didn’t live up to the quality we wanted and the community deserves. Understandably I heard from many of you how deeply disappointed you were. You are right to be disappointed. However, now with the cold weather there is simply nothing to do until spring.

We are working on a solution. We have assigned a new project manager to make sure quality control is achieved from start to finish including removal of the current product and new surface preparation to achieve a durable result. We will not be spending any additional university funds. We have confidence that our designer, painting contractor and team will stand by their commitment to achieve an excellent quality result.

Stay tuned to my Twitter account @hanigsberg or Soapbox for more updates. I understand people want frequent communications from us so we will do a better job at keeping you informed but don’t expect to see any new activity on site until this spring.

On behalf of myself and the Campus Facilities & Sustainability team, I appreciate your understanding as we get this fixed. I hope you accept my personal apology.

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