Confirmation of re-opening of Barton and most of Macdonald-Stewart

Published: 13 March 2023

I am very glad to confirm that the Barton building and most of the Macdonald-Stewart (MS) building will re-open tomorrow, March 14, 2023.

Tomorrow, we will also hold a hybrid Town Hall from 2-3:30 p.m. (registration information below) to share information about our safe re-opening approach, answer your questions and hear any concerns you may have.

Spaces that will open March 14

  • All areas of Barton, with the exception of a mechanical room that recently tested positive and a storage space closed in November 2022. The Library will re-open and resume its normal hours.
  • All public spaces in MS. The Link Café will re-open and the exact date will be communicated as soon as it becomes available.
  • Closed MS rooms (laboratories and offices) that did not have any positive tests for asbestos.

Spaces that will not open March 14

  • The Raymond building, including the classrooms beginning with “R” in the Octagon.
  • Twenty-five offices, laboratories and other closed rooms where dust tested positive for asbestos. Cleaning is already underway, but timelines for re-opening will vary by room.
    • We are coordinating with Faculty personnel to ensure the firm cleaning under asbestos safety protocols has the information needed to carefully clean sensitive equipment.
    • The extra care required for laboratories and the need for coordination with room occupants does, unfortunately, make cleaning timelines slower and less predictable than for public spaces.

Cleaning and testing

  • A specialty firm has cleaned areas where dust tested positive for asbestos, and air tests have been performed in those areas.
  • Cleaners have cleaned spaces that did not test positive, according to McGill’s standard protocols.
  • We have heard that cleanliness of the spaces has been an ongoing concern at Mac. Supervisors will now conduct on-site, visual inspections twice weekly.

How to report concerns

  • It’s also clear that people using the buildings need an improved, more responsive system to report concerns about the facilities.
  • Once you are back in the buildings, if you have a concern about situations such as dust that was not present the day before or debris or damaged building materials:
    • Call McGill’s Facilities Call Centre (FCC) at 514-398-4555.
  • FCC will do an initial triage to assess and where appropriate, Environmental Health and Safety will follow up with the requester directly.
  • The surfaces cleaned under the protocols vary according to the type of space. As per previous practice, users are expected to clean their own desks and elevated surfaces. Any residual dust has tested negative and will therefore be safe to remove.

Town Hall

At the Town Hall, I will first present details of our safe re-opening approach and enhanced safety measures, as well as outline the measures the University is taking to understand the events leading up to the building closure.

Both in-person and online participants in the Town Hall will have the opportunity to submit questions live to our panelists. You can also submit questions in advance through the registration form.

Date/Time: March 14, 2023. 2:00 – 3:30 p.m.


  • In-person: Faculty Lounge, Rm MS2-022, Macdonald-Stewart building (in-person spots allocated first-come, first served)
  • Zoom: a link will be sent to registrants

Registration is Required:

  • Please register for the in-person or virtual event here. To access the registration form, you will need to sign in with your McGill ID.
  • In-person capacity is limited due to the size of the space. Those requesting an in-person spot will receive a confirmation

Town Hall Participants:

Presenter and Moderator:

  • Fabrice Labeau, Acting Co-Provost; Deputy Provost (Student Life and Learning); Planning Chief for McGill’s Emergency Operations Centre


  • Anja Geitmann, Dean of the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (FAES); Associate Vice-Principal (Macdonald Campus)
  • Yves Beauchamp, Vice-Principal (Administration and Finance)
  • Denis Mondou, Associate Vice-Principal (Facilities Management and Ancillary Services)
  • Diana Dutton, Associate Vice-Principal (Human Resources)


I know how difficult this disruption has been for many members of the Mac community. Thank you so much again for your patience through this closure.


Fabrice Labeau, Co-Acting Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic), Deputy Provost (Student Life and Learning) and planning chief for the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) on behalf of the EOC


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