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Residents at McMaster downtown complex to spend a week in hotel amid water sanitization process

McMaster University’s housing services is temporarily moving residents into a hotel while it sanitizes the water system at an unfinished downtown dwelling that’s suffered numerous construction-related problems.

In a release to the occupants of 10 Bay Street, the learning facility said Tuesday a “full-building chlorination process” will have to happen to clean out water supply pipes, in-unit plumbing and fixtures.

Some hardware will also need replacing, especially underneath kitchen sinks.

“To implement this plan, we require tenants to temporarily move to a nearby hotel on Sunday, February 4, and return to 10 Bay on Friday, February 9,” the school alerted residents in a notice.

Hotel tabs and the cost of meals through $100 gift cards will be picked up by the university over the six days.

The housing division said the emptying of the building was necessary to “isolate water sources” and access units over several days.

Grad student Connor Galloway says his “big gripe” with the move is that they only have a week and a half to do it.

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“It’s going to be difficult … coming right before reading week,” he said.

“Usually, there are projects and things to do. I don’t even know what hotel I’m going to be staying at. I guess I have to get a suitcase now, too.”

Since December, residents have been heeding recommendations for boiling and sanitizing water, even though taps had been previously flushed.

Galloway, a tenant at 10 Bay paying more than $1,300 a month on rent, previously said the university had made good on some relief for tenants in the form of temporary rent reductions of 50 and 25 per cent and supplying bottled water.

Others, like Navid Jalali, say there’s also been say a slew of other problems, like electrical outages and bug infestations since moving in for the fall semester.

As a member of a CUPE-led tenant group, he says they’ve been seeking face-to-face group get-togethers with university staff to discuss the issues.

“The management has refused to meet with the union. They just wanted to meet with us one by one,” Jalali explained.

A university spokesperson told Global News they would not be commenting further after sending the notice to the Bay Street residents.

Galloway admitted workers are “not doing as much construction now” with “a lot of things being completed.”

“Which is nice, but we’re still looking to get parking opened up for those who have paid for at least underground parking at a discount,” he said.

Global News has previously reached out to Knightstone Capital Management Inc., the developers behind the build, but has not heard back.

The university has said on numerous occasions that water at the site is “not harmful nor causes health concerns” based on Public Health Ontario data.

&copy 2024 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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