U of C discusses plans for West Campus

By Nicole Kobie

The university’s development plans for West Campus found their way to our part of campus Tue., Feb. 25, in the form of an information session held in MacEwan Hall. The display of designs, maps and other details captured the attention of many students and faculty.

“This was a response to larger open house we held for the community,” said Jim Fantuz, Associate Director of Campus Planning. “We wanted to share with the campus community.”

The info session also solicited feedback from students, faculty and other staff on campus.

“There was some concerns about how it relates to tuition fees,” said Fantuz, adding others were happy with the potential for more research. “The essence of what we’re doing here is being good neighbours, by giving a chance for feedback.”

While the project managers are seeking input, don’t expect many changes to the many designs and plans on display.

“Nothing’s set in stone until it’s built, but the plans are approved,” said Fantuz.

The new Alberta Children’s Hospital is expected to be complete by 2006, but the entire West Campus will not be fully developed for another two or three decades. Aside from the hospital, other plans in progress for the land include sports fields and a central energy facility.

Those will likely be the last plans to be formalized for the next few years, unless the current financial state of the university changes.

“There’s been no new money for capital projects since I’ve been here,” said Fantuz, who started at the U of C a year and a half ago. “But that’s a good time–the best time–to plan, when you don’t have the money.”

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