Capital and space planning

student housing construction
New Student Housing and Dining Project under construction – September 2021

5 year capital plan

The University of Victoria’s success is built on the provision of high-quality education and outstanding student experience, excellence in research and the conscious integration of research and teaching, within a diverse and welcoming environment. The university’s five-year capital plan reflects the academic priorities of the university as articulated in its Strategic Framework, Planning and Budget Framework, Indigenous Plan, Campus Plan and our Institutional Accountability Plan and Report to the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training (AEST). One of the six key areas of our Strategic Framework is to cultivate an extraordinary academic environment that allows for the creation, dissemination and mobilization of knowledge. Our Capital Plan is a key planning document that outlines the university’s infrastructure needs, which are a vital component required to achieve this key goal.

Our top priorities include providing an exceptional student experience, both curricular and co-curricular, meeting existing and anticipated program demand, advancing research excellence, and fostering respect and reconciliation. The university’s five-year capital requirements for 2022/23 to deliver on these priorities include:

  1. Murray and Anne Fraser Building Interiors Modernization and Seismic Upgrade

    The renewal of the Fraser Building which houses UVic’s Faculty of Law is estimated at $66.8M. The quality of our academic programs is impacted by the condition of the facilities in which they are provided. In order to address pedagogical needs and provide the experience our students require to be ready for the job market, the university has developed a program of building renewal which addresses both deferred maintenance and seismic needs across campus. Some components of this renewal will be undertaken in conjunction with the addition to the Fraser Building for the National Centre for Indigenous Laws. The extent of renewal will largely be driven by funding available but will be focused on those improvements that would most benefit from being undertaken at the same time.

  2. An addition to the Business and Economics Building

    Student demand for Business programs, including entrepreneurship and innovation, has been very strong. UVic’s Peter B. Gustavson School of Business has expanded to meet this demand by creating two additional cohorts and expanding its BCom Minor program. UVic’s capital priority, to accommodate this growth, is therefore an expansion to the existing Business and Economics building. This expansion project is estimated at $32.4M.

  3. Mearns Centre for Learning - McPherson Library Interiors Modernization and Seismic Upgrade

    The Mearns Centre for Learning - McPherson Library is one of the oldest buildings on campus. The main library was completed in two phases (1963, 1974) and remains the busiest building on campus with between 1.4 and 2 million annual visits by students, faculty, staff, and community members. In 2017, the university developed plans to seismically upgrade the Renewal of the structure. In addition to life safety improvements, interior spaces also require renewal to provide innovative and contemporary spaces that facilitate new directions in teaching, research, and community learning. Interior renovations will also improve spaces for university and community engagement, increase graduate student study and research space, and address the needs of the university art collections. Similar to the renewal of the Fraser Building, if funding is available, these projects could occur simultaneously in order to minimize disruption to library services. The seismic and interior improvements for the building are estimated at $112.5M.

  4. Seismic Upgrading Program

    The university has had for many years a seismic upgrade program. The program includes the completion of detailed seismic upgrade plans in order to be shovel ready when capital funding is available. With this program in place seismic upgrades have been completed for the Campus Security Building, Saunders Building and the MacLaurin D wing. Seismic upgrading of the Farquhar Auditorium and the Petch Building, valued at $32.5M (2021) are the next major upgrade projects planned for construction.

  5. Campus Active Transportation Improvement Program

    The Active Transportation Improvement Program will enhance active transportation infrastructure through the renewal and upgrading of current pathways, sidewalks and roads as outlined in the university’s Campus Cycling Plan and Campus Greenway. The program includes renewal and safety improvements to 2.1KMs of pathways and 3.5KMs of roadways. Once implemented, this project will not only improve pedestrian and cycling access on campus but also as regional connections through the municipalities of Saanich and Oak Bay. Upgraded amenities are a key strategy in achieving our goal of 70% of all trips to campus utilizing transit, cycling, walking or carpooling.
    The project also includes landscape renewal and improvements to reflect the traditional territories of Indigenous communities. This will include opportunities for Indigenous artwork and interpretive panels that share the both the history of and connections to the land that continue to this day. The projected budget for the Active Transportation Improvement Program is estimated at $19.9M.

  6. Student Housing

    Additional student housing is required to continue to help address the acute regional need for increased rental housing and meet student demand for on campus living. Living on campus nurtures a strong sense of belonging in the UVic community and supports student success and retention. The university’s current student housing project under construction will address first-year student housing needs; however, additional student housing is required as the regional vacancy rate remains extremely low and housing costs continue to increase. UVic will continue to experience excess demand for on-campus accommodation, particularly for upper-year undergraduate and graduate students. The university has commenced planning for additional student housing to meet this demand.

Facilities planning is continuous in order to address changes in student program demand and support services, as well as evolving research and teaching requirements to ensure they reflect societal need. To address these changing needs, the university undertakes planning activities that inform future capital requirements, both major capital and annual routine capital. Over the next few years this work will include reviewing space needs for the Faculty of Science and other emerging academic needs. As well, work will be undertaken to plan for future expansion requirements beyond five years that takes into account our Strategic Framework goal to promote more collaboration, partnerships and interdisciplinary approaches. This goal leads to thinking about and planning for more flexible, multipurpose shared space.

For further details on the capital plan please read the 2022-23 Capital Plan.

For information on current projects in construction please visit the current projects page of the campus planning website. Current major capital projects in construction include the Student Housing and Dining Project and the National Centre for Indigenous Law.

Contact Mike Wilson for capital and space planning issues: 250-472-5433.