Big ideas and aspirations: CapU’s campus master plan

Student residences, expansion of the Centre for Sport and Wellness and a new road onto campus are just a few of the big ideas proposed in Capilano University’s first campus master plan, which was unveiled in December 2018.

Developed by the design firm Dialog, in consultation with students, employees and neighbours, the plan offers a glimpse into an exciting future.

“The plan provides a long-term framework that will guide decision-making around campus development over the next 12 years,” says Ryan Blades, director of Facilities Services and Campus Planning. “It will help us decide when and where to develop.”

Ryan Blades, director of Facilities Services and Campus Planning

The four design pillars of the plan include preserving existing green spaces, animating the north part of campus, enhancing public spaces and gateways, and prioritizing active modes of transportation such as walking, cycling and transit.

New mixed-use buildings and student residences with designs encouraging expression of Indigenous culture are suggested for the north part of the campus. The idea is to encourage a village-like environment with gathering places, end-of-trip cycling facilities, food services and other commercial activities.

A new southern access road for vehicles is envisioned for the corner of Lillooet Road and Mt. Seymour Parkway, as well as a continuous ring road around the campus. The report also recommends that entry points onto campus be enhanced with public art, signage, lighting and landscaping to provide visitors with a clear sense of arrival.

Funding from the 50th anniversary Great Ideas fund will support the CapU 50 trail, an interpretative circuit that will unify the northern wetland, the central wooded area and the forest to the east of Monashee Drive and offer insights into native plants and ecology.

Expansion of the Centre for Sport and Wellness is suggested as a way to connect Capilano University to its neighbours.

It’s important to remember that the master plan is not a blueprint for construction, but rather guidelines for future development. Some of the recommendations include quick wins that are easy to implement right away, but others are longer term milestones that require additional studies or partnerships to implement.

That being said, the future looks bright for Capilano University.

Written by: Shannon Colin
Photo credit: Tae Hoon Kim