After spending part of the afternoon ice skating in the Village Centre, you and your friends warm up at one of the coffee shops along the GreenWay before heading to the new fine arts centre to watch Greystone Theatre’s current performance.
Communal meeting spaces, commercial shop-lined streets, a place for the proposed performing arts centre and a kilometre-long, tree-lined pedestrian and bike-friendly walkway are some of the prospective additions to the College Quarter.
First and foremost in the plans, however, are student residences. Construction is currently taking place with the building of the new undergraduate residences and once the College Quarter development is complete, the university should have 2,600 student housing spaces, doubling the current number of 1,300.
Bounded by College Drive, Preston Avenue, 14th Street and Cumberland Avenue, the College Quarter is currently home to Potash Corp Park (Griffiths Stadium), the Saskatoon Field House, the Williams Building and the student residences at Wollaston, Assiniboine, Souris and Seager Wheeler halls.
The final plans only include development on the west and north-east areas, while the south-east area will continue to be home to agricultural crop research plots.
In addition to the amenities mentioned above, the university is considering building more office space for professors and graduate students, a hotel and a twin-pad ice arena.
At a College Quarter information session on June 10, Varsity View residents got the chance to give their opinions of the plans to and ask questions of representatives from the U of S, the City of Saskatoon, AECOM Engineering and Brook McIlroy Planning and Urban Design / Pace Architects. Concept designs, overview maps, parking plans, projected phasing and traffic forecasts were on display.
While the development sounds like it has everything U of S students need, some residents had concerns about a lack of parking in the plans and that the university would have to build over some of the sports fields. But information sessions like these are helping the university to shape their plans; most of the representatives had notebooks and pens on hand to record any worries or comments attendees had.
The entire development is expected to take about 25 years to complete, so it is likely that the master plan for the area will change over time.
Still, whatever changes may come, a glance at the list of performance standards promises a vibrant, interactive development. Number one is architectural character, but also on the list are Village Centre retail, pedestrian-orientated development, bicycle access and storage, open spaces, landscaping, tree preservation, public art and campus sustainability initiatives.