Planning for new student residence to engage campus and broader community

UVic is moving ahead with the planning for a new residence facility, which will provide much-needed student housing for undergraduate and graduate students.

The proposed residence will provide housing for an additional 600 students currently living off-campus, bringing the total number of spaces for students living in res to 2,900. UVic guarantees a place in residence for eligible first-year students, which has resulted in few available spaces for upper level, co-op and graduate students.

“UVic is a destination university with more than 70 per cent of our students coming from outside Victoria,” says Kristi Simpson, associate vice-president financial planning and operations. “The demand for on-campus housing has exceeded the available space for a number of years, and the addition of more student housing is an important strategic objective for the university.” There is also an acute need in the region for increased rental housing.

Pop-up engagement sessions were held with students in the fall. On-campus and neighbourhood consultations will take place in March to seek input on the proposed building site principles and to identify opportunities and concerns.

The new residence will help to achieve UVic’s vision as a vibrant and sustainable community that nurtures student experience and well-being. The residence experience assists Canadian and international students with their transition to campus, providing secure and convenient accommodation plus academic and social programming and support, while fostering friendships and a strong sense of belonging within the UVic community.

The student residence project is the first significant capital project since UVic’s Campus Plan was renewed in 2016 after extensive on-campus and community consultation.

“The Campus Plan guides the physical growth and change on campus,” says Mike Wilson, director of campus planning and sustainability. “Over the past year, our UVic project team has narrowed the potential development sites that were identified—with community input—in the Campus Plan, to a preferred site within the current residence precinct.”

The site is near Ring Road and adjacent to the Student Union Building. The new facility would include two buildings, with a modernized dining facility on the ground floor. Consistent with the objectives of the Campus Plan to retain green space and promote a pedestrian-friendly campus, the university is exploring opportunities to develop taller buildings in core areas of the campus. A variety of room types and layouts are being considered including traditional dorm rooms and "pod"-style clusters, which feature single rooms with a shared kitchen and living area.

The impact on campus parking availability is expected to be minimal, as demand for parking from students in residence is very low. The university has engaged a transportation engineer to conduct a comprehensive review of the university’s current parking supply, as well as future parking demand.

The recommended building program and associated business case will be presented to the UVic Board of Governors in late March. In keeping with UVic’s Community Engagement Plan, there will be several opportunities for students, staff, faculty and community members to provide input on the project over the next several months.

For more information about the project, contact Mike Wilson, director of campus planning and sustainability at 250-472-5433 or Public engagement opportunities and project updates will also be posted on the project website.

Upcoming engagement opportunities

On-campus open house
Thursday, March 8, 11 a.m.–2 p.m.
University Centre lobby

Community open house
Saturday, March 10, 1–4 p.m.
Gordon Head Recreation Centre auditorium
4100 Lambrick Way


In this story

Keywords: administrative, campus plan, residence

People: Mike Wilson, Kristi Simpson, Campus Planning and Sustainability

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