New residence buildings coming in 2015

By Chris Adams

The University of Calgary is building two new residence buildings, one for undergraduate and the other for graduate students.

The undergraduate building will occupy space in the quad around Kananaskis and Rundle Hall, while the graduate building will be built in parking lot 12 next to the Schulich School of Engineering. The two new buildings will provide an increase of 400 residence spaces for students.

The new buildings, which are not yet named, are scheduled to be completed by fall 2015.

Director of residence services Randy Maus said the new undergraduate building will replace current residences.

Maus said 296 students will be housed in the undergraduate building.

“It will house upper-year students in apartment-style living and will be connected to our tunnel system. Our Norquay, Brewster and Castle Halls will be demolished,” Maus said.

One of Canada’s largest construction companies, CANA Construction, will build the new residences. Demolition of current residence buildings will follow the construction of the new undergraduate residence.

“Demolishing won’t happen until the summer of 2015. We want the building to come online, and then in that summer, we’ll strip the buildings and then demolish them,” Maus said.

There are no plans to add retail vendors to the new buildings.

Construction of the graduate-only residence, which will house 390 students, falls in line with the residence master plan. This plan outlines the university’s goal to expand graduate residence options.

“Our residence master plan goes further out than what we’re doing right now. As we look further out, knowing that becoming a top-five research institution is our goal, that means there is a significant draw for grad students,” Maus said. “This is the first phase of graduate student housing. Going west, there will be some more expansion that will go into lot 11 eventually.”

Construction of the graduate residence on lot 12 will result in a loss of parking which the university has no plans to restore.

“There are no plans to directly replace the 133 stalls that will be lost to construction,” said director of parking and transportation services Susan Austen. “However, we have opened a temporary lot just to the southwest of the lot 10 main entrance with 38 stalls to assist with overflow parking needs.”

The university does not directly fund residence buildings. Residence Services has reached out to the Alberta government to provide funding.

“We’re what is called a self-funded operation. We’re only funded by residence fees. So when we want to build, typically we’re going to the Alberta government and we present our business case and say ‘we want to build new residences and want to borrow x-million dollars’, ” Maus said. “So we’re debt funded, and then it’s paid back through residence fees, or, depending on the model, some ancillary operations like parking might contribute back to some of the debt on those buildings until they are self-sustaining.”

A residence open house will be held on Oct. 23 from 3:30–5:50 p.m. at the Legacy Suite in Residence Dining Hall to showcase plans for the new buildings.

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