Ding dong.

For whom, you ask, does the bell toll?

For the dearly departed whose heads rolled at Red River College at the beginning of the month.

With no fanfare at all, two names were added to the college dishonour roll:

* Catherine Rushton, former Vice President in charge of finance and administration, and

* Robert Olson, former associate vice president for facilities and campus services.

The college put on a happy face until the spring convocation June 2 and 3, then silently dropped the axe. The 3rd was a Friday, and as everyone was focused on the joyous ceremonies, Rushton took the walk of shame in the empty main campus, picking up her "stuff", and heading for the exit with the standard security guard escort.

Rushton and her associate Olson paid the price for what's shaping up to be the disaster du jour, the highly touted renovation of the Union Tower building.

Was it only two years ago that city, province and college officials were backslapping and grinning themselves silly at a photo op to announce a $27 million top-to-bottom reno of the 104-year-old building?

The ancient highrise on the corner of Main Street and William Avenue, immediately south of City Hall, had been an eyesore for decades, abandoned and rotting. But, muttering the magic incantation of "infrastructure", the politicians and college bigwigs promised a rebirth.

The Union Tower was to come alive again, stuffed with shiny new classrooms, offices, labs, and six floors of student residences. But the piece de resistance (yeah, more French) would be the partnership with Paterson GlobalFoods which would commit $2 million to turn the bottom floors into the home of Red River's culinary arts program.
http://redblog.typepad.com/blog/2009/10/rrc-begins-construction-on-the-paterson-globalfoods-institute.html

Well, the doors were supposed to open in the spring of 2011. Then September, 2011.

And, now, sometime in 2012.

But don't hold them to it.

Nobody's talking about the dismissals or the problems with the reno. There's some background chatter about structural misalignment in the building, which would only be a concern to someone with a residence there. Oh...wait.

For those keeping tabs ... yes, this is the same Cathy Rushton who was behind the cancellation of the The Great Canadian Talk Show (on Red River College-based Kick-FM) at the behest of the Winnipeg Free Press.

And, yes, the same Winnipeg Free Press that hasn't breathed a word about their darling Cathy's abrupt departure.