One burst sprinkler and three months later, the new SASC office opens

The AMS Sexual Assault Support Centre has opened its new office in the Nest after a delay due to a burst sprinkler.

The new office space, which was originally supposed to open in October, opened on January 6, in time for second term.

According to AMS VP Administration Sylvester Mensah Jr, the new office space suffered significant damage when a fire sprinkler burst on October 2, 2020, just weeks before the projected completion of construction on October 20. Mensah said the water also damaged the AMS Health and Dental Office and the Hatch Art Gallery.

Mensah said the Sexual Assault Support Centre (SASC) was “operating at a reduced in person capacity and providing services virtually, in regards to support and outreach throughout this term mainly due to limitations presented by the pandemic.”

The new office space is larger than SASC’s previous office and is designed to address concerns about accessibility and privacy. While SASC was previously split into two separate offices in the nest, the new office space provides a larger, less confusing, centralized area for SASC to work.

The previous office was located in front of the Nest’s elevator, creating privacy concerns that have been addressed by the location of the new office.

AMS spokesperson Eric Lowe said SASC was still able to work through the delay.

”While the SASC has been spread out in different spaces since the renovations began, thanks to some proactive and nimble planning by the SASC team they have been able to continue serving survivors and the UBC community,” Lowe said. “The SASC has been providing remote and in-person support, and resumed hospital accompaniments in September.

Lowe added that the AMS has also been encouraging staff to work remotely throughout the pandemic, minimizing the impact of the delay.

“I know the SASC staff and everyone at the AMS is looking forward to the new office opening. A lot went into the design to ensure a welcoming, safe and private space,” Lowe said.