Langford’s new post-secondary campus sailed through a public hearing and council vote at Tuesday’s (Sept. 8) council meeting.
The city signed a 10-year phased development agreement with Royal Roads University last month to construct the building.
Along with the deal came variance permits – the only brief sticking points on approval – which included cutting back the setbacks and providing off-street parking for workers on gravel rather than the usually required asphalt parking lot.
Langford resident Ryan Price said he was worried about the noise and dust thrown up by a gravel lot for a significant amount of time as workers worked on the project.
Coun. Lillian Szpak echoed those concerns and asked if the lot could be paved.
Langford Mayor Stew Young said the gravel lot was temporary and would be used as part of the campus, either being built over or as greenspace, so paving the lot would mean digging up the asphalt later.
Council adopted the bylaw with the variance permits included.
The campus is set to be jointly occupied by Royal Roads University, the University of Victoria, Camosun College and the Justice Institute of B.C. Premier John Horgan announced the project, set to be completed in 2024 with a capacity of 1,200 students, and called it “an unprecedented collaboration.”
He added the campus would help address long-term barriers for students on the West Shore, which has seen lower post-secondary attendance rates than other areas.
The project is funded by the provincial government ($77.8 million for the construction of the building) and Royal Roads ($18.5 million for the land purchase plus $500,000 for capital costs).
Other capital contributions include $1 million from UVic and $200,000 from Camosun College. Langford is also contributing $26 million towards amenity improvements, $1.5 million over 10 years to support an innovation studio and $375,000 to a scholarship fund for Langford residents.
“In my 30 years as mayor, this is the single most significant project in Langford history – $125 million investment in education, and I am proud to be part of it,” Young said at the announcement.
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