UVic Torch -- Fall 2004
Spring 2005,
Volume 26, Number 1

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We’re Expanding We’re Expanding
The family of the late Bill Mearns (left), a university founder, is funding a major extension of the McPherson Library.


THERE'S A BUILDING BOOM ON CAMPUS. New construction will help the university cope with a space crunch from the growing population of young people plus the province-wide shift from a resource-based to knowledge-based economy. Close to 2,000 more full-time students will be at UVic by 2010. As a result, the campus is about to undergo one of the most active building phases in its 42-year history. The new projects include:

  • William C. Mearns Centre for Learning, a technologically advanced extension of the McPherson Library. The project has received a $5-million gift from the family of the late Bill Mearns, a Victoria College graduate and a force behind the plan to establish the university. UVic and the provincial government matched the Mearns gift ($5-million each), with additional private funding rounding out the project’s $20-million cost. The centre will be fully wired, and will include a multi-media centre, a round-the-clock study area and an Internet café. A completion date hasn’t been set.
  • An 11,000-square-metre, $50-million science building to consolidate the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, along with space for the Chemistry department.
  • An 8,600-square-metre, $30-million social sciences/mathematics building will include four tiered lecture theatres and office space for the departments of Geography, Environmental Studies, Political Science, and Mathematics and Statistics. The province is contributing $60.4 million to the science and social sciences/mathematics buildings with $20.5 cost to be raised by UVic. Completion of both buildings is scheduled for 2008.

Planning and fundraising are also underway for a $6.5-million First Peoples House and a $14-million support services building.

President David Turpin said the expansion program means “better classrooms, better labs—in fact space that we could not possibly have provided by rehabilitating older structures.”

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