Thompson Rivers University going into construction boom - InfoNews

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Thompson Rivers University going into construction boom

Construction activity behind the trades building at Thompson Rivers University, March 27, 2017.
March 27, 2017 - 8:00 PM

KAMLOOPS - With a trio of major projects at Thompson Rivers University getting underway soon, the school is taking a step back to look at what’s needed before moving forward with another new structure.

In less than a year, the university has announced a new Trades and Technology Building, a new Nursing and Health Sciences building and plans for a new university village development, with the first phase, a condominium, breaking ground this summer. Matt Milovick, the university’s vice-president of finance, says the university hasn’t got any more shovel-ready projects prepared and is instead looking at identifying what the university needs.

"The last long term capital plan is now done," he says. “We have a process now to identify future major capital projects; that began in November.”

The school has roughly two million square feet of space for academic buildings; current buildings take up one million, so there’s lots of room for new structures even after the the new nursing and trades buildings are built. The Reach, the mixed residential and commercial development, is planned for separate land.

One issue for the school in the short term is disruption due to the trio of construction projects once work begins. Milovick doesn’t foresee any major concerns as the campus empties over the summer, though commuters to the campus will need to be aware of work happening along University Drive, the major campus road, which may require closure of sections.

While there’s plenty of room, Milovick says the school isn’t rushing a new project through right away. Some areas of need have been identified, but administration will be discussing with deans about what future projects will look like before developing any new plans. The university also needs to take into account the provincial government’s priorities and make sure the university’s projects align.

One potential need already identified is general use classrooms. That may be a standalone structure or renovations to the first and second floor of Old Main, but Milovick isn't certain, especially since the provincial government is currently more interested in funding buildings with specific uses directed to industries in need of workers.

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