Student housing and dining project schedule fast-tracked

- Melanie Groves

An accelerated schedule for the university's new student housing and dining project will propel it to completion in early 2023, 16 months earlier than originally scheduled. The student housing and dining project—the first significant capital project since the Campus Plan was renewed in 2016—will create housing for an additional 621 students currently living off campus and help to address the acute regional need for housing. The two new LEED Gold and Passive House-certified buildings will feature a 600-seat dining hall, two 225-seat classrooms, an Indigenous student lounge, and meeting and conference spaces. Early site preparation work began this spring, at the site between the Student Union Building and Cadboro Commons.

After exploring options to expedite the original four-year construction schedule, the university has adopted a one-phase construction approach. The expedited schedule means that Cadboro Commons, Margaret Newton Hall and Emily Carr Residence will be deconstructed at the same time, in summer 2020, prior to the start of construction.

A modular dining facility—to be located in Parking Lot B, between the Bob Wright Centre and McPherson Library/Mearns Centre—will be installed to replace the Commons Kitchen during the construction period. Installation will begin in January 2020. The modular facility will become operational in fall 2020 and remain in place until summer 2022, when the new dining hall opens.

The 550-seat temporary facility will maintain the same hours and high standards of food services as the Commons Kitchen. Degrees Catering services will also be maintained throughout the construction period.

“We’re excited about the opportunity to have these buildings up and running more than a year earlier than we'd originally planned,”says Mike Wilson, director of campus planning and sustainability. “Though there will be some short-term inconvenience and noise associated with such a large construction project, we appreciate everyone’s patience and cooperation as we work to achieve our long-term goal of providing additional student housing and increasing the vibrancy of our campus.”

Although reserved parking in Lot B will be unavailable from January 2020 to fall 2022, the university’s 2018 parking study showed that ample reserved parking is available in nearby lots. Accessible parking will continue to be available in Lot C, adjacent to the Clearihue Building, and two additional accessible stalls will be added in Parking Lot 1. Annual permit holders will receive more information from Parking Services with their permit renewal packages.

"We will work with anyone with a parking permit who is impacted by this work, to find the best solution for for their parking needs on campus," says Patrick Seward, manager, parking and transportation.

Visit the project website for details and updates as the construction phase gets underway.


In this story

Keywords: administrative

People: Mike Wilson

Publication: The Ring

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