The U Boulevard area is bound by Wesbrook Mall, University Boulevard, East Mall, and Student Union Boulevard, and includes The Nest, UBC Aquatic Centre, Student Recreation Centre, Alumni Centre, and both bus loops.
The vision for U Boulevard is to create an outstanding academic experience supported by a complete community where people can live, work, learn and play on the Vancouver Campus. This key gateway to campus will combine academic and recreational facilities, shops, services, transit, housing and outdoor spaces.
There will be several new buildings and facilities that will realize this vision, together with new landscaping and pedestrian and cyling routes. Several of these projects are already well underway, with others set to begin soon. The growth of this area is part of UBC’s commitment to create an outstanding academic experience supported by a complete community where people can live, work, learn and play on its Vancouver Campus.
The map below highlights these new projects, along with their estimated dates of completion, and a short description of each project follows.
Current Construction Projects
1. New Aquatic Centre
The new Aquatic Centre will be one of the few facilities in Canada to have a high performance and recreational pool under the same roof. It will include a 50m competition pool, 25m recreational pool, leisure pool, hot tub, spectator seating, a wet classroom and more.
Complete January 2017
This is a new 6-storey university rental housing building, with retail and commercial on the ground floor. Central is located along University Boulevard west of Wesbrook Mall, in front of War Memorial Gymnasium
Complete Spring 2017
3. New UBC Bus Exchange
This new transit facility will be built to serve current and future transit needs on campus. It will be integrated with the Gage South Student Residence, and includes centralized and safe passenger drop-off and pick-up areas. The site is located between the New Aquatic Centre and War Memorial Gymnasium.
Complete Summer 2019
4. Gage South Student Residence
This new residence will provide approximately 630 beds of year-round student housing for upper year undergraduate and graduate students in a range of suite configurations The residence will also have amenities such as a front desk, house lounge, meeting/study rooms, bike storage, fitness/games room, music practice rooms and laundry. A collegium for commuter students is also planned to be included. The residence will include four towers, ranging in height from 5 - 14 storeys, and will be located east of the New Aquatic Centre.
Complete Summer 2019
5. War Memorial Gymnasium (Consultation)
To meet a growing need for recreational fitness and gymnasium space on campus, as well as address aging athletics facilities like War Memorial Gym and Thunderbird Stadium, UBC is developing a long-range athletics and recreation strategy.
A public consultation - UBC GamePlan - will invite feedback on an emerging concept proposes creating two distinct areas for athletics facilities: a Recreation Hub and a Spectator Hub. The Hub concept focuses future development near existing facilities, improving connections between students, athletes, staff, community members and training programs.
6. UBC Life Building (AMS SUB renovation)
The existing AMS SUB will be renovated to create programming space that will enable UBC to fulfil much needed student demand in a variety of core student service areas. The UBC Life Building will be focused on student support, wellness and experiential learning, all of which have a direct impact on student experience and academic success.
7. Redesign of Wesbrook Mall
Wesbrook Mall is a main corridor on campus and one of UBC’s most prominent people movers. The redsign will put an emphasis on narrowing the road width, adding a separated bike lane and transit priority lanes, and widening the sidewalks to make them universally accessible with features such as lighting, street trees, planting and seating.
This will be another university rental housing building, with retail and commercial on the ground floor. Focal will be located along University Boulevard west of Wesbrook Mall, in front of the new MacInness Field.
9. New MacInnes Field
The original MacInnes Field site was needed to build the new UBC Aquatic Centre, and the new field will be installed where the existing Aquatic Centre is located. Once the new Aquatic Centre is complete, the old Aquatic Centre will be removed and construction on the field will begin.
10. Redesign of Student Union Boulevard
Student Union Boulevard will be redesigned to meet evolving campus needs as a result of the new Gage South Student Residence, Aquatic Centre and Transit Exchange. Key improvements will include widened sidewalks, more pick-up and drop-off parking and the addition of bike lanes. Design improvements will also contribute to an arrival experience onto campus through the use of paving, furniture landscape and lighting.
11. Faculty/staff rental housing, academic space and retail
These two sites are envisioned to be innovative projects, bringing together new and existing academic programs, research and student programs with 300,000 square feet of academically-oriented non-market housing, prioritized for faculty and staff. The majority of this housing will be accommodated on the D.H. Copp site as part of a “Campus as a Living Lab” research project. For the mixed use Gateway North site, academic uses will be focused on Health Sciences and Athletics. Ground floor commercial spaces, such as cafes and retail, in addition to amenities are being explored along with continuing education learning spaces, gathering and collaboration places and student services.
12. Future academic building
As a key gateway and symbolic entrance to the campus, both this new building and the U Boulevard area will play a significant role in expressing the academic identity and values of the university. Located on the corner of Wesbrook Mall and University Boulevard, this distinct new building will use natural light, graphics and architecture to create an inviting, welcoming, and public space.
What’s coming up next for the U Boulevard area?
The Public Consultation is complete. To read the consultation summary reports for Phase 1 and Phase 2, as well as links to full transcripts of the feedback received during consultation, please visit the consultation webpage.
Planning for D.H. Copp will proceed through the standard capital project approval process. This Campus as a Living Lab mixed-use research project will be presented to Board in mid-2016 and will include further details of the research and building programs.