(UVic)

UVic is expanding student housing on campus, with the grand opening of their newest residence and dining building this month. 

The residence, one of two new housing buildings set to open on campus, is now ready for students to move in.

UVic’s newest student housing and dining building will provide an additional 398 beds for students, bringing the number of on-campus student beds to more than 2,500, the most in UVic’s history.

“Our government continues to work to remove the barriers British Columbians are facing. Victoria has one of the lowest rental vacancy rates in the province, making it challenging for post-secondary students to secure housing,” said Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training. 

“Between 2001 and 2016, the old government only built 130 student beds. The outcome was many students were pushed into local rental markets in communities like Victoria. Our government is making different choices, working with colleges and universities to build 8,000 student housing beds across B.C. to make post-secondary education more affordable for students and provide relief for local renters.”

UVic’s first-year on-campus housing guarantee means the new building will primarily benefit first-year students at the university. This guarantee helps new students acclimate to campus life through living in residence.

In addition to student housing, the eight-storey building includes a two-storey, 715-seat dining hall equipped to serve 10,000 meals a day to students, staff, faculty and the public. 

“With assistance from the Province, we are working to remove barriers and make higher education accessible for more students at UVic,” said Kevin Hall, president, University of Victoria. 

“On-campus housing helps students transition to post-secondary studies and creates a sense of community and connection. These new student-housing buildings will also help to alleviate pressure on the rental market in the surrounding community.”

UVic was the second post-secondary institution in the province to access the BC Student Housing Loan Program, a $450-million initiative launched in 2018 to make housing more affordable and available for students. 

The first student housing building has been built and completed on schedule. The second student housing building will be completed a year ahead of schedule in summer 2023 and will provide an additional 385 beds. 

Both student-housing buildings will be constructed using natural products, including stone and wood, consistent with the Province’s CleanBC plan and have been designed and constructed to achieve Passive House and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) V4 Gold certification. 

This means reduced energy, operating and maintenance costs, and lower carbon emissions.

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