Raymond Building Update and Student Supports

Published: 11 March 2023

Dear members of the Macdonald Campus community,

Ahead of our Town Hall next week, I wanted to provide an update on testing in the Raymond building, progress in cleaning Macdonald-Stewart and Barton, as well as to highlight some student support services and upcoming events.

Raymond Building Update

We have completed all tests in the McGill-occupied spaces in the Raymond Building. As I mentioned previously, the good news is that all dust samples collected in the Octagon (which contain the large classrooms beginning with R) and in the Phytorium (a research facility) have tested negative.

In total, 8 dust samples were found to be positive for asbestos – 5 in closed rooms, and 3 in staircases. The rooms that have tested positive are marked on the floor plans (accessible to anyone at McGill with a quick log-in). The contractor will be testing the construction site separately.

With this information, we are now working to prepare Raymond for a safe return. However, because of the extra steps necessary to close off the construction site, this will take a bit more time. These steps include:      

  • Sealing off the Octagon from the construction site. 
  • Ensuring that there are sufficient emergency exits available for all occupants while the area is sealed off.  
  • And then finally, undertaking the same cleaning of public spaces, followed by the cleaning of the closed rooms where there were positive tests, and air tests to ensure they are safe.  

We do not yet have a firm timeline, but will continue to keep you updated on progress, and share a timeline as soon as we can. 

Cleaning in Macdonald-Stewart and Barton 

 We are also happy to report that cleaning in Macdonald-Stewart and Barton is well underway, and everything continues to look promising for re-opening the buildings on Tuesday, March 14.  

  • Cleaning of the common spaces in Macdonald-Stewart has been completed, and the air test results are all clear.  
  • Cleaning of the common spaces in Barton has also been completed, and the air test results are all clear.   
  • Cleaning of the closed rooms in both buildings has started.  

As air test results are clear, P100 masks are no longer required to access Macdonald-Stewart and Barton. However, access is still restricted to essential research personnel to ensure the steps needed for the re-opening can take place quickly and efficiently, thus allowing the buildings to re-open on time.  

Support Services 

And finally, we also wanted to highlight a few support services available to students in the Macdonald Campus community, to make sure you were aware of them.  

  • Student Life and Learning is mobilizing to let you connect with your fellow students at Mac Campus. Upcoming events include a Mac community gathering, food trucks, and a clothes-swap thrifting event. A complete list of events is available on the Student Services website.  
  • Peer Supporter events and peer support groups are also available. Until the Macdonald-Stewart foyer has re-opened, a team of student staff is available to answer any questions about student life and McGill services in the Centennial Centre lobby at the Ask McGill kiosk.   
  • Support from health professionals is available at Mac Campus. You can book an in person or virtual appointment with a Local Wellness Advisor, counsellor, dietician, nurse or physician by calling the Mac Student Wellness Hub  at 514-398-7992.   

I know that this has been a tough time for many, and I am impressed by the resilience you are showing. As we have been working closely with the Dean and Associate Deans, I am struck by just how much they care about the Mac community, and that is an incredible asset. I’ve seen that same commitment in instructors, who pivoted quickly and effectively to maintain a high quality of education. Thank you to all members of the community for your patience in a situation that has been rapidly evolving. 

We look forward to welcoming you back to Macdonald-Stewart and Barton on Tuesday and answering your questions at the Town Hall that day.  

Please continue to send your questions or comments to macbldg.closures [at] and continue to check the FAQ, which has all of the information previously shared, and will continue to be updated. 


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