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An Interview with Darryl Kostash

Darryl Kostash is the Director of Building Operations with SAMU. He joined the SAMU team on June 1st, 2018, almost a year after ground broke on the building in order to begin making preparations for operations within the new building. “I was hired at the right time, there was a little bit of a learning curve just in terms of learning the working groups, but I feel like we’ve been hitting the mark,” Darryl mentioned, “the biggest challenge has just been timelines. It’s a big operation, lots of moving parts and then me, the new guy, I am probably asking the same questions asked 100 times before.” Despite being the “new guy,” Darryl has made a significant impact on the building in his short time with the company, including preparing the lease submission process for future vendors in the building.

One of the exciting things for Darryl is that his role will change once the building opens, “my day-to-day will change. There’s a lot of preparing for the building to open right now, but once we get in there will be a whole new list of things to do.” He discussed how the role is tied to the operation of the building, mentioning that he will be working with retail partners, vendor partners, IT partners, MacEwan Facilities and Security. “For things like IT and safety management we are currently working very closely with MacEwan. We’ve already been working with IT to improve our systems for our new building and we will start working with Facilities and Security in the new year with regards to opening and operation of our new building,” he discusses.

Darryl has been working to ensure that SAMU not only gets the most value out of our partnerships with vendors, but also that they work well with our goals for the building. Once the vendor partners are selected, Darryl will act on behalf of the building to ensure that relationships are maintained, similar to a landlord at any retail outlet, “there are a lot of requirements before a tenant can move in, and after they do, there are permits and annual inspections and the list goes on. Things like that will fall under the responsibilities of the tenants, but as the landlords we have to make sure they do it. Not that they won’t, but some tenants might need a reminder. They have a lot on their plates too,” he says.

Lastly, we asked about some of Darryl’s favourite things about the building, and what some of the most frequently asked questions he gets about the building. “I’m most excited for our own space,” he exclaimed. “We will continue to have ties to MacEwan University but it gives us the independence we couldn’t have without our own building. I hope this is a place where students will want to be when they aren’t in class, a place to relax, study and enjoy.”

As for the most asked question? “Who are the vendors,” he replied laughing. “I get that one a lot. But we aren’t quite ready to announce who they are yet as the process is still open for applicants.”