A map showing where UVic hopes to build its new sports complex and parkade.

UVic hosts open house to clarify parkade plans

An open house Thursday (Sept. 8) will focus on UVic’s planned Centre for Athletics, Recreation and Special Abilities, which currently includes the parking garage.

  • Sep. 6, 2011 6:00 p.m.

The University of Victoria wants to know what you think about a proposed 505-stall, seven-level parking garage – a source of controversy since it was unveiled this summer.

An open house Thursday (Sept. 8) will focus on UVic’s planned Centre for Athletics, Recreation and Special Abilities, which currently includes the parking garage.

“We were asked by Saanich council to undertake further community consultation on the project,” said Neil Connelly, director of campus planning and sustainability.

On Aug. 8, council sent UVic back to the drawing board solely over concerns about the parking garage.

Coun. Paul Gerrard said the proposed structure would be “too big,” and “an ugly building … in the wrong place.”

Though nobody’s home is next to the proposed garage, the concern is that it will be an eyesore for people driving into the neighbourhood.

That specific issue will be addressed at tomorrow’s meeting.

“We’ll speak in more detail with respect to the parking structure and some of the concerns expressed around the visual impact,” Connelly said. There will be better graphics and displays for people to see the design and explore different options UVic has proposed. Among those options are a green wall using vines and foliage and putting vertical panels on the garage to hide cars.

“We’ve done a much better job (with our graphics) showing the building relative to the existing trees on site and the visual buffer they’ll provide,” Connelly said.

He said the need for parking at the university is growing, especially as the new athletics centre will be built atop an existing parking lot, eliminating 234 stalls. When built, the centre 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.

The open house runs from 4 to 8 p.m., Sept. 8, in the apparatus gym in the McKinnon Building (southeast end of Gabriola Road where it meets Ring Road).

Presentations on the plans will be held at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.

kslavin@saanichnews.com

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