College running out of office space

Yukon College doesn't have enough office space for its instructors and staff. That's because the school has been growing rapidly over the past few years, said the school's director of human resources, Brian Bonia.

Yukon College doesn’t have enough office space for its instructors and staff.

That’s because the school has been growing rapidly over the past few years, said the school’s director of human resources, Brian Bonia. That’s a good thing in the long run, but right now it means that staff are in a crunch for office space, and if the trend continues, the school will have to expand.

“It probably became a challenge at least five years ago, when the Yukon research centre opened,” Bonia said.

When the research team moved into its home in the basement of the school’s residence building five years ago, there were nine members. Today there are 36, Bonia said.

“This year we’re going from 241 permanent to 262 permanent and term employees. Within the school itself, we’ve been adding programs, instructors, and the add-ons have exceeded the capacity in the main building,” Bonia said.

Right now there are 12 staff members without an office, but the school does have a plan.

Two unused classrooms will be converted into group office space. Together, the rooms will yield enough space for 10 offices, meaning four people will have to partner up.

Bonia said the office reconfiguration could ruffle some feathers, but the decisions about who goes where won’t be made at random.

“Here’s our process: first we’re going to relocate a dean that needs to be relocated, the new dean and the admin officer. We’ll then locate the department chairs geographically near those deans. Next we’ll look at creating an administrative hub. With centralized photocopiers, mail boxes, etc., for permanent and temporary instructors,” Bonia said.

“Then we go back to the team and are already calling on those who would like to share an office. We’re hoping that people who are within the same field of teaching, for example office admin instructors. From there, should we need to, we’ll end up looking at who’s left over, who needs a spot and what spots are vacant.”

Failing all of that, the school may hold a lottery to see who gets the last spots and who has to double-up on office space.

Bonia said that while many instructors are worried about the changes, the school’s use of classrooms for offices and a last-resort lottery are not setting any sort of precedent. It’s just a temporary measure until a more permanent solution can be found.

Before settling on the classrooms solution, Bonia said the school looked at bringing in ATCO trailers, retrofitting another section of the research area and even renting downtown office space, but none of those options proved financially viable.

The school does plan to expand in the future. In March, the federal government announced funding for Yukon College’s Centre for Northern Innovation in Mining. That will mean constructing new buildings, but certainty about how much money the government will give and exactly where those buildings could go is unclear for now, Bonia said.

At present, the school has 5768 students, 262 permanent/term staff and 352 casual/contract staff across our 13 campuses in Yukon.

Contact Jesse Winter at jessew@yukon-news.com

Just Posted

Greyhound’s plans to axe B.C., Yukon bus routes get approved

Company says B.C. services have lost $70M over last decade

YG slow to reveal tender info for new public contracts

Work will be exempt from national free-trade rules

Plenty of Yukon talent in KIJHL playoffs

8 Yukoners playing on teams in the big dance

How suite it is: Whitehorse council mulls amendment to allow suites where they’re currently banned

Coun. Dan Boyd fears move a slippery slope to more affordable housing

No Resource Gateway construction work this season, YG says

‘We’re not as advanced as we would have liked to have been but we still are advancing’

Man who sexually abused girls a good candidate for treatment, eventual release, psychiatrist says

Dr. Shabreham Lohrasbe is an expert witness in the dangerous offender hearing for the man

Robots don’t rule over us yet, but they do sell lunch

Not everyone will be taken into the future, as Ilya Kabakov once said

YG seeks to ease neighbourhood concerns over housing first project

YG will consult more once design for downtown building is complete

Yukon skiers race to victory at Sima Cup

‘The snow conditions, the visibility and the grooming were out of the ordinary’

Cold weather hampers Babe Southwick Memorial Race

‘It was nice to see people out there because we didn’t expect as many volunteers to show up’

Yukon war memorial hidden in Vancouver

A dramatic and beautiful memorial to the fallen of World War I is not well known to Yukoners today

Of ravens, eagles, livers and lead

Environment Yukon’s animal health unit has been testing livers of scavenging birds since 2013

Most Read