Ryerson apologizes after fake river paint job washes away

Blue and yellow paint designed to make two Ryerson University roads look like rivers is rapidly fading due to the winter weather, leading a Ryerson University official to publicly apologize for the rushed $195,000 paint job.

According to Julia Hanigsberg, Ryerson’s vice president of administration, the combination of snow, ice and a rushed job is the reason for the fading blue and yellow paint on Gould and Victoria Streets.

The first phase of the project, which cost $25,000, started last September—Gould Street was painted bright yellow to clean up the messy roadwork from construction over the summer.

Then, Ryerson implemented the second phase, applying a coat of epoxy paint that cost $170,000, which included blue paths, meant to look like rivers and creeks to help direct students to campus buildings.

Problems first started when  the first coat immediately began to peel away in October.  Hanigsberg and her team hurried to finish a second coat before the first snowfall.

Worsening the situation, the recent icy weather sped up the paint’s fading, barely leaving behind a visible sign of the second, more expensive layer of paint.

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

Source: National Post

The project was funded by a variety of sources, including alumni donations and fundraising, and partly tuition fees.

Michael Forbes, manager of media relations for Ryerson, said the public is reacting in two ways.

“I think people understand that we’re trying to beautify the campus,” Forbes said.  “We’re trying to give a new look and feel to the heart of our campus and I know that when the paint job first went down, people were really pleased that the effort was made.”

“Given the issues we encountered with the paint, clearly some students are upset. It’s perfectly understandable and we are hearing that.”

Forbes also commented on Ryerson’s initiative to publicly address the issue.

“Julia Hanigsberg wrote a blog (“I’m Sorry”), unprompted and unrequested, to come out and say this has happened and this is how we’re going to address it,” he said. “I think it’s really shown strong leadership to come out and publicly and address the issue and flag the issue.”

Click below to listen to rest of the interview:

The faded blue and yellow areas won’t be changing anytime soon. The issue will not be fully addressed until spring, but Ryerson’s administration team hopes to complete the project by next fall.


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