Royal Roads develops its case for new West Shore campus

Royal Roads University is seeking project and construction management services as it moves forward in plans for a proposed new West Shore post-secondary campus.

A business case is being developed and technical work will be required to look at construction, space-planning and architectural concepts for a new facility, Carolyn Levesque, the university’s associate vice-president of operations and resilience, said Tuesday.

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Royal Roads has already hired HCMA Architecture + Design, she said.

A functional plan, which looks at the specific requirements for various functions within a facility, is set to be ready by early August. The business case is expected to be submitted to the province by the end of September, Royal Roads said in its most recent tender document.

It aims to fast-track the design, the document said.

“If and when the business case and funding are approved, the contractor is expected to commence immediately with construction preparation.”

It is too soon for a facility cost or to identify a location, Levesque said.

Several factors are driving the interest in a new campus, serving undergraduate students in the West Shore, where the population has been growing quickly, leading to a demand for such a facility.

Students in the West Shore face long commutes to post-secondary campuses outside their area. Also, a lower-than-average number of West Shore students move onto post-secondary education.

Last year, the province gave Royal Roads $250,000 to lead a study with partners the University of Victoria, Camosun College and the Sooke School District, into the idea of a new campus in the West Shore, where the population has been growing. As a result, B.C. provided $1.5 million to put together a business case.

“We have to go in a certain sequence, consistent with the architectural design process that would normally happen for any kind of development project,” Levesque said.

The new university could be a collaboration between Royal Roads, UVic and Camosun, Royal Roads University president Philip Steenkamp said earlier.

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