More construction begins in April

March 10, 2005, vol. 32, no. 5

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Excavation will begin outside the northeast academic quadrangle in April, marking the start of a new $30 million arts and social sciences complex dubbed ASSC1.

The 7,500 square metre, U-shaped building will extend the existing academic concourse to the northeast, provide a new entrance to the museum of archaeology and ethnology and join with Strand Hall via a covered walkway. Features will include a 300-seat lecture hall, a 150-seat lecture hall, a sky-lit public meeting area and a landscaped courtyard about one-quarter the size of the AQ courtyard.

Designed by Busby, Perkins & Will architects, a firm nationally renowned for its green building practice, ASSC1 will meet the highest requirements for energy conscious and sustainable lab buildings.

It will house the criminology department, First Nations studies, the SFU psychology clinic, archaeology labs and a new forensic centre for training and research.

The new building site will cover the road north of Strand Hall and a portion of parking lot C.

Phil McCloy, the SFU development manager overseeing the ASSC1 project says, "It's a complex construction project involving the relocation and extension of site services and removal of parking areas while maintaining service deliveries to Strand Hall." In all, the university has budgeted $30 million for the project. The building is expected to open in September 2006.

The project will create a number of changes to traffic patterns and parking.

The top two levels on the west side of parking lot C, and the road that runs past Strand Hall on the north will be cordoned off as a construction site resulting in the loss of approximately 200 parking spaces by mid-April.

Disabled, reserved and visitor parking now in C lot will each move one level north. This is the only C lot parking that will be accessible from the west. There will also be additional disabled spots made available in E lot. The construction site will eliminate the through road past Strand Hall, and the only vehicle access to search parking in C lot will be from the east side of the lot along University Drive. Due to the loss of spaces C lot permits will be honoured in both C and B lot.

There may be a further reduction of parking space in the upper portions of C lot if approval is received to proceed with construction of a new health sciences building immediately east of the ASSC1 building.

SFU development planner Elizabeth Starr says the parking losses will be partially offset by U-pass users. "With U-pass, we've seen a decrease in parking volumes by about 400 cars during peak demand mid-week."

She notes that as the university expands, surface parking lots will be replaced with campus buildings and parking will be accommodated in structured parkades.

She says the university is working to develop a comprehensive campus transit plan to address parking issues and to implement transportation management strategies.

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