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Consultations continue with debut of revamped UVic parkade plan

Apr 28 2012

A new plan for a controversial parkade at the University of Victoria will be released at noon today, when the first open house on the revised plan begins.

The parkade is part of the $75-million Centre for Athletics, Recreation and Special Abilities. The project will include athletic facilities, a 2,000-seat gym, a multipurpose field house and a climbing tower, as well as office and lab space for CanAssist, which develops technologies, programs and services for people with disabilities.

The public and Saanich council were supportive of the project with the exception of a proposed seven level parkade at the McKenzie Avenue entrance to the university.

Citing a lack of public consultation, Saanich council twice turned down the application. UVic has since met with the community and come up with five parkade options. After several open houses, an interim report issued by the university said it was clear the majority of people preferred either burying two levels of the parkade so only five are above ground, or reducing it by two levels.

Four open houses on the new plan are being held over the next five days.

Mike Wilmut of the North Henderson Residents Association said the time was too compressed to allow people to digest the new design.

"Spreading the consultation over a little more time would give people the time they need to really think about something that will affect this community," Wilmut said.

Several neighbourhood associations also unsuccessfully lobbied for three dimensional models to be made.

"It has to be seen in perspective, with other things around it. That's difficult to do from paper. But UVic turned us down," Wilmut said.

Today's open house is at St. Aidan's Church at 3703 St. Aidan's St., from noon until 3 p.m.

Other open houses are Monday, at Mount Douglas Secondary, 3970 Gordon Head Rd., from 5 to 8 p.m.; Tuesday at the UVic student union building from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and Wednesday at Cadboro Bay United Church, 2625 Arbutus Rd., from 4 to 7 p.m.

kwestad@timescolonist.com

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