New student housing will be UVic's tallest building

Saanich councillors agreed to cut UVic some slack in building requirements, allowing the university to complete 783 units of on-campus student housing.

At a meeting Monday, councillors unanimously agreed to vary development requirements for the University of Victoria to allow building up to 38 metres tall instead of 10 metres.

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They also agreed to waive requirements for additional parking. Councillors heard UVic initiatives to minimize car travel — such as issuing all students transit passes — have proven successful.

The two new buildings, estimated to cost $201 million, will be eight storeys and 11 storeys in height, or 30 and 38 metres, respectively. The tallest existing building on campus is the engineering science building, at 31 metres tall.

Emily Carr Residence, Margaret Newton Hall and Cadboro Commons kitchen/dining hall will be demolished to make room for the new buildings, projected to be completed by 2023.

Key to getting the two buildings erected by then was agreement by Saanich to permit temporary dining and kitchen facilities on a campus parking lot.

The new buildings received support of neighbourhood associations. Councillors also expressed satisfaction that campus housing will free up rental accommodation for other citizens.

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