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

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

Gwen Spencer Hethey with her uncle and mentor Major Frederick Richardson. (Courtesy of Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame)
‘She was a killer’: The Victoria woman who pioneered female sharpshooting

Gwen Spencer Hethey made military men ‘look like turkeys’ says her son

Anita Troop officially turns 100 on Sunday and cards are pouring in from around the world. (Courtesy Marina Miller)
Cards roll in from around the world for West Shore 100 year old

About 100 cards have come for the woman who turns 100 on Sunday

A cardboard man bearing Queen Elizabeth II’s royal cipher has been placed in a window at the Royal Theatre for at least several days. (Evert Lindquist/News Staff)
Mysterious cardboard figure appears in Victoria’s Royal Theatre window

The identity of the figure, which was moved there amid cleaning, remains unknown

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Jesse Roper tackles weeds in his garden to kick off the 2021 season of What’s In My Garden Man? (YouTube/Whats In My Garden)
VIDEO: Metchosin singer-songwriter Jesse Roper invites gardeners into his plot

What’s In My Garden, Man? kicks off with the poop on compost

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Freighters have becomd abundant in the Trincomali Channel on the east side of Thetis Island.
Nanaimo ponders taking on waste from nearby anchored freighters

Vancouver-based Tymac petitioning the Regional District of Nanaimo to accept waste at its landfill

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Most Read