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.”
Back to Ringside