William Matheson (nova_one) wrote,
William Matheson

SMU, where are you?


SMU, where are you?

One of the things that’s been bugging me lately (especially with the advent of LiveJournal’s little location feature) is that it’s really really hard to get solid information about the exact addresses on campus. When I’m blogging in a public place, such as a school or library, I’m going to put in the complete street address, locality, and province. (If at (a) home, then just the locality and province.) Anyway, I’m glad they didn’t introduce this feature when I was abroad because it would have added a further level of complication to my posts – the topic tags were bad enough! “Острог, Рівненська область, Ukraine,” I can handle, but trying to tap out the street address in Cyrillic would have driven me mad. I can’t stand to leave anything incomplete.

Anyway, a lot of people get lazy and assume the entire campus is at 923 Robie Street, the address of the McNally Building. This laziness is reinforced by the Aramark website and by many other sources of information. To make matters worse, many buildings don’t even have the addresses visible in plain sight, or if they once did, they’ve fallen victim to renovations and/or rebranding.

But I am here to fix all that. Today I walked around the entire campus and noted each building’s exact street address. Names and codes are from this map, unless I happen to know better. Tonight I lucked on this building usage table, which filled in the missing information.

Buildings where classes are held (where you’ll likely be blogging from), the student centre, and residences are in boldface.

Building Code Building Name Address... ... visible? Connections ([bridge])
AA Alumni Arena 934 Tower Road Y N
AT Atrium 5940 Inglis Street not yet B, MN, PP, S
B Bishop Burke Education Centre 5932 Inglis Street Y AT
CE Continuing Education 883 Robie Street Y N
GR Gorsebrook Research Institute 5960 Inglis Street Y N
LA Loyola (Academic) 903 Robie Street Y LR, SB, [MS]
LR Ignatius Loyola Residence 5865 Gorsebrook Avenue Y LA, VR
M- Archbishop McNally Building (all) 923 Robie Street Y -
ME McNally East - N MM
MM McNally Main - Y ME, MN, MS
MN McNally North - N AT, MM, [S]
MS McNally South - N MM, [LA]
O The Oaks 5920 Gorsebrook Avenue Y N
PA External Affairs (formerly Public Affairs) 5907 Gorsebrook Avenue Y N
PP Patrick Power Library 5946 Inglis Street Y AT
RR Edmund Rice Residence 5825 Gorsebrook Avenue Y, sort of VR
S Science Building 5950 Inglis Street N AT, [MN]
SB Sobey Building 903 Robie Street Y LA
SC O'Donnell Hennessy Student Centre 5916 Inglis Street N N!
T The Tower Athletic Facility 920 Tower Road Y RR (partial, must run across one small parking lot)
UA Development & Alumni 867 Robie Street Y N
VR Vanier Residence 5845 Gorsebrook Avenue N LR, RR
980 TESL Centre 980 Tower Road Y N

Building Code Building Name Address Connections
AG Art Gallery of Nova Scotia (Halifax) 1723 Hollis Street N
AST Atlantic School of Theology 660 Francklyn Street N
BDC Business Development Centre 1546 Barrington Street N
BR Barrington Municipal High School 536 Oak Park Road, Barrington Passage ?
CB Cape Breton University 1250 Grand Lake Road, Sydney ?
DA NSCC Akerley Campus 21 Woodlawn Road N
DAL Dalhousie University 6299 South Street N
DL Alderney Gate Public Library 60 Alderney Drive Alderney Landing -> Dartmouth Ferry Terminal
DT Spring Garden Road Memorial Public Library 5381 Spring Garden Road N
WT World Trade and Convention Centre 1800 Argyle Street Scotia Square, Halifax Metro Centre, Prince George Hotel -> anywhere on the Downtown Halifax Link
YR Yarmouth Consolidated Memorial High School 52 Parade Street, Yarmouth ?

Things to note:

Sometimes people have classes in the Student Centre [09/09: though not this year from the looks of things], as it’s owned by the university and not the Student’s Union Association. SC301 is an oft-used classroom, but incongruously placed. Moreover, the Student’s Centre is the one class-holding building that will probably never be connected to the rest. (The Burke Building will be belatedly integrated upon completion of The Atrium.)

Loyola Academic and the Sobey Building are generally considered separate buildings, yet they share the same street address. Loyola Academic was renovated in step with Sobey’s construction, and the two buildings have consistent signage and almost seamless connections.

Loyola Academic and Loyola Residence are almost definitely separate buildings, with their different street addresses and room codes (for instance, the Private Dining Room has a LR room code, not LA). Once you cross the threshold into the area where the bricks are dark brown, you’re in LR. Even the Art Gallery is in LR.

Vanier Residence is sometimes clumped with Rice as, together, "5825-45 Gorsebrook Avenue." Worse yet, the sign out front says "Rice and Vanier Residences, 5825 Gorsebrook Avenue." Since Loyola is further up the street and bears 5865, while the sign in front of Rice says 5825, we can deduce that Vanier, sandwiched in the middle, is 5845.

McNally is kind of confusing for anyone who doesn’t have a degree in Retrofit Architecture. ME used to be both a chapel and a basketball court, it is now the IT and multimedia heart of the university, and the chapel is now the Theatre Auditorium, though some are convinced it’s too much of the latter. There also used to be extensive Drama facilities behind the T’Aud, but these have since been converted into ESL classrooms. The irony of this is that the university is sending foreign students who barely speak English to the most difficult-to-find rooms on campus. I’m serious; some poor Asians asked me once where ME2xx was. I was like, wait, ME doesn’t have a second above-ground floor. Then I remembered. Then I tried to tell them how to get there. Then I figured I’d better just lead them, and I did. A fun experience, but not one that bears repeating with every new ESL student, as it probably does.

On that note, we need to get consistent, pervasive signage. A new student taking a class in Sobey won’t have a sweet clue as to how to get to the Library. (SB 2F > LA 2F [link> MS 2F > MM 1F > MN 2F > go down two floors on the stairs > MN 0F > PP 1F) But since they’re probably taking Commerce, it won’t matter. Or how about a kid in the computer labs in September who’s going to their third or fourth biology class in the Science Building? (ME 0F > climb stairs > ME 1F > MM 0F > climb stairs > MM 2F > MN 3F [link> S 3F > go down three floors on the stairs > S 1F) It’s a mess; there are numerous situations where even the floor numbers change without warning, because the constituent parts of McNally have different floors and varied ceiling heights.

[Edit: My friend Lisa, a Dal student who's been in our Honours Seminars all year, still needs to be escorted to and from the English Department. Then we show her the way back outside. I'm not exaggerating!]

And hey, aren’t those S, SB, and SC codes confusing? We can’t count the number of times that people have glanced at their schedule and gone to one of the wrong choices. Think about it: S can also stand for Student or Sobey; SB can easily mean Science Building or even Student (Union) Building; and SC sounds just right for Science. Let’s just hope we don’t have any more benefactors whose names begin with “S.”

I’ve been itching to write up this table for days. I think that says more than I intend it to.
Tags: addresses, blogging, buildings, charts, geocodes, saint mary's, school, tables

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