First of three public consultations held

Taylor Rocca, Copy/Web Editor Ω

At the completion of the project, students may find themselves living over grocery stores or other businesses in a move toward being a more self-contained community.             — IMAGE COURTESY TRU/STANTEC

At the completion of the project, students may find themselves living over grocery stores or other businesses in a move toward being a more self-contained community. — IMAGE COURTESY TRU/STANTEC

TRU along with the TRU Community Trust (TRUTC) hosted a public consultation session Feb. 14 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Campus Activity Centre’s Mountain Room. The purpose of the consultation was to take in public feedback on the updating of the Campus Master Plan (CMP), including the development of TRU’s University Village concept.

In attendance were representatives from Stantec, a professional consulting firm specializing in planning, engineering, architecture and project management for infrastructure and facilities projects. Various members of the TRU community were also on hand to take in the consultation, including TRU vice president administration and finance, Cliff Neufeld, who is a member of the TRUTC.

Ray Wolfe, senior associate architect at Stantec, gave a 20-minute presentation about the updating of the CMP and the TRU University Village plan.

TRU is home to the equivalent of 10,000 full-time students, as well as 2,000 faculty and staff. Within 10 years, those numbers are projected to increase to 13,000 full-time students and 3,000 faculty and staff.

“We need to increase our academic building area,” Wolfe said. “That is the fundamental driver as to why we are doing this campus plan update.”

Campus life, teaching spaces and research are focuses of the latest CMP update.

According to Neufeld, developing TRU into a “destination campus” is at the forefront of the CMP update and University Village concept. He referenced Simon Fraser University’s campus community, called UniverCity, as an influential design model for TRUTC and Stantec.

According to Wolfe, TRU’s campus is currently 110,000 square metres (or 110 square kilometres), meaning there are 11 gross square metres of space per student. For comparison’s sake, the entire size of Kamloops is 297.3 square kilometres, according to Statistics Canada’s 2006 community profile.

Within 10 years, the goal is to increase campus space in order to reach 20 to 30 gross square metres of space per student. Wolfe referenced the University of Alberta, a school of approximately 36,000 students with 36 gross square metres per student, as an exemplary model.

The update of the CMP is set to progress between now and September 2013. It has been laid out in a four-step process, which began in January 2013 with the framework stage. The discovery stage will take place between February and April 2013, delivering a needs assessment at its conclusion. The third stage, explore/decide, will run through the summer months of May to August, with a concept plan to be delivered. Recommendations will be made in September, with a revised master plan to follow.

On display were a number of “vision boards” presenting ideas, landscapes and potential development opportunities within current campus space and on future development areas surrounding the current campus.

Those in attendance were encouraged to circulate past the vision boards, placing blue dots to endorse ideas or concepts they liked. They were also encouraged to place sticky notes with ideas that couldn’t be found on the existing vision boards.

Colin Macedo, the student representative on TRUTC, declined to comment on the impact this project will have on students, instead referring to Findlay (Frank) Quinn, a Kamloops lawyer and member of TRUTC. Quinn was unable to be reached by print deadline.

This was the first of three planned public consultation sessions. The second is slated for April 17, while the final consultation will take place Sept. 19.

Stantec won the right to work on the CMP update through a bidding process that began Oct. 15, 2012 and concluded in November 2012.

To see material presented at the consultation, visit http://www.tru.ca/vpadmin/campusmasterplan2013/town_hall_meetings.html.