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Ryerson students who were blinded by the yellow and blue paint job on Gould and Victoria Streets this fall won’t be seeing neon for much longer.
According to president Sheldon Levy, the $25,000 paint job is just a temporary fix to cover work the city did this summer.
“The road was painted because there was so much patchwork done by the city over the summer with regard to water mains, et cetera, that we just really wanted to make it look a bit better for the beginning of classes,” Levy told The Ryersonian.
Julia Hanigsberg, vice-president of administration and finance, said later this fall the road will be re-covered in epoxy paint, masking the dirt it has collected during frosh week festivities. She expects the new coating, the same type of paint used in New York City’s Times Square, to be a more durable, pedestrian-friendly solution.
Hanigsberg said in the long term, the university hopes to work with the city to possibly repave the road. According to Levy, the university will foot the bill for the continued improvements.
RSU president Melissa Palermo said some students were shocked by the new paint but she believes it is something that will unify the campus.
When asked whether spending $25,000 on a temporary fix was a good use of funds, she responded that it’s something the RSU will look at as part of their mandate.
“As the students’ union we do a lot of work around the university priorities and where the money is going, especially when we see tuition fees go up every year,” she said.
Zuhra Omary, a third-year biology student, believes the school could make better use of its money.
“They could have used that (the money) to fix Kerr Hall East or any of the other buildings,” she said.
“If you’re going to spend money on it (you hope) you can at least say, ‘yeah it looks nice, it made our school look a little better,’” she said. “But I just think it made it look worse.”
Alexander Guidone, a first-year student, said he doesn’t think it’s the best way to use resources, especially if it’s only temporary.
“To be honest, I didn’t even notice it when I came in,” said the film studies student. “The dirt shows more and it gets scuffed up.”
New to campus, he said he didn’t see it before but “would assume it wasn’t that bad.”
But others saw the road as an improvement.
“I actually like it, “said Julia Devyatykh.
The third-year student said it complements the other campus branding improvements the university undertook over summer, which include the painting of banners, poles and the Church Street bridge.
Levy said he is aware the yellow road has been criticized and that everyone is entitled to his or her opinion.
“We did it quickly and relatively on the cheap,” he said. “It was really for the beginning of classes. It was bound to get dirty and everything else but it isn’t a long-term solution.”
This story was first published in The Ryersonian, a weekly newspaper produced by the Ryerson School of Journalism, on September 11, 2013.