This rendering depicts what the University of Victoria’s new Centre for Athletics

New UVic athletics complex set to break ground

McKenzie Avenue roadwork to coincide with new $77 million facility

Construction is set to begin on the site of the future home of the University of Victoria’s Centre for Athletics, Recreation and Special Abilities (CARSA).

Tom Smith, UVic’s director of facilities management, says he anticipates fencing around the property will be up by the end of February, and work on the site will start soon after.

“It’s been a long time coming and we’re thrilled with the fact that we’re finally going to proceed,” he said, referring to Saanich council delaying approving the project on two different occasions, which pushed the university’s construction timeline back more than a year.

The most recent hiccup, Smith says, came when the project was put to tender earlier in the winter, and its cost rose by $4.3 million.

Additional funds were secured from the university’s parking reserve fund, and from the athletics, recreation and food services department budgets. The university board of governors approved the new project budget last week.

Now with a price tag of $77 million, the combined athletics centre and contentious five-level parkade, has a tentative opening date set for April 2015.

CARSA and the parking garage will be built atop an existing parking lot, meaning students and staff will lose at least 234 parking spaces on campus until the parkade construction is complete.

“We’ve got a series of signs already prepared waiting to go up that will direct students to other lots. We’ve got vacant parking spaces around campus, they’re just not as convenient,” Smith said.

Adding to the mix of construction in the area, the District of Saanich is optimistic upgrades to McKenzie Avenue, from Shelbourne Street to Finnerty Road, will begin in the spring or early summer.

Brad Ormiston, project manager, says Saanich is just finalizing the detailed design of the project before it’s put out to tender.

He expects roadwork to last four or five months. Upgrades to the road are set come in two phases, with work crews ideally running at the same time, Ormiston said.

The first phase, which will be done by Saanich, will see upgrades along McKenzie from Tuscany Village to Gordon Head Road and the entrance to UVic.

The roadway, running some 800 metres between intersections, will lose one westbound lane to accommodate new bike lanes on either side of the road.

The second phase, which will be put to tender, will see McKenzie widened between McGill and Finnerty roads. New bike lanes, left turn lanes and grassy medians will be installed, a traffic light at a new intersection (Phoenix Road at McKenzie) will be built, and the traffic light at Finnerty will be replaced by a traffic circle.

Smith says accesses in and out of UVic won’t be impacted by construction of the CARSA or McKenzie Avenue projects.

CARSA will be a 17,685-square-metre complex including a 2,100-seat gym, a four-court field house, an elevated running track and climbing centre. It will also be home to CanAssist, a UVic-based organization that develops technologies and services for people living with disabilities.

Saanich council sent UVic back to the drawing board twice in 2011, denying approval of development permits due to a lack of quality public consultation.

kslavin@saanichnews.com

 

 

Just Posted

‘More animals could have a chance:’ Victoria Humane Society in desperate need of a home

Animal rescue currently has 163 animals in foster and volunteer homes

Free-B Film Festival celebrates 20th anniversary

Head to Victoria’s Beacon Hill Park to see some family favourites on the big screen

Join North Saanich invasives removal and experience three key benefits

Friends of North Saanich Parks says July 27 clear-up will be rewarding as well as green

Central Saanich accused of not following Climate Emergency declaration with urgent action

Motion to research climate response options and costs rejected then rescheduled in tense meeting

Esquimalt gives six-storey rental complex the green light

A new apartment building is set to go up on Admirals Road

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Vancouver Island teens missing after vehicle found ablaze near Dease Lake, BC

RCMP say a body discovered nearby not one of the missing teens

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Two dead in two-vehicle crash between Revelstoke and Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Most Read