SFU Construction Watch

A list of construction updates happening on SFU campuses

By: Marco Ovies, Staff Writer

With all the construction happening around campus, it might be a bit confusing for new (and returning) students to find their way around campus. Here is a breakdown of construction projects happening on campus and what students have to look forward to in the upcoming months. 

SFU Surrey:

Surrey Sustainable Energy and Engineering Building (SE3P)

With a budget of $116 million, this is one of the largest construction projects at SFU in recent years. The building is open and hosting classes as of September 2019.  Built to LEED Gold Environmental standards, the building will be the host to mechatronics labs and a new Sustainable Energy and Environmental Engineering program in Surrey. According to the construction project page on SFU’s website, “the City of Surrey supported an accelerated construction schedule and sees the building as a key player in the City Centre revitalization and expansion.”

SFU Burnaby:

Two New Residence Buildings 

Phase 1:

Two new seven story residence towers for first year students will be built at the former Louis Riel Residence site. It will have 482 single rooms and is expected to be opened for the spring, 2021 term. This project is estimated to cost $43 million. 

This also includes the development of a new greenspace, which will include an accessible pathway from the front entrance of Shell House down to McTaggart. The SFU Residence and Housing website states that it will also include “drainage improvements, pathway lighting, greenspace landscaping and planting (mix of lawn, grasses, groundcover and shrubs) and gathering spaces with amenities (tables, benches, basketball hoops).”

Phase 2: 

This will include the building of a centrally located office suite for the Residence and Housing staff. According to the SFU Residence and Housing website, “Phase 2 will play a significant role in community engagement, student citizenship, and student academic success.” The site for this office suite will be where the Madge Hogarth House is currently located.

Student Union Building (SUB) 

The long-awaited SUB is finally almost upon us, although its construction has meant the much-beloved rotunda groups are still without space on campus once the SUB opens. Funded by a longstanding building levy, the SUB will have many different facilities that will appeal to students. Some of these, as outlined on the SFU Construction Project Website, include “a napping room, a community kitchen, an online gaming lounge, music rooms and a live performance stage.” This is part of a $65 million dollar project that is meant to reinvent the campus experience at SFU that also includes the building of the stadium. You can read more about this on the SUB Building Design and Development Report or on the Student Society page. This project is expected to be completed in Fall 2019, but the completion date has been pushed back before with the video stating a “Fall 2018” completion date. 

Here’s a link to a computer-generated flythrough of what the SUB is going to look like:

Link to “Fly Through the SUB”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bb5k3tPWi8E&feature=youtu.be

Lorne Davies Complex Stadium construction

SFU is getting its own stadium, which is expected to finish in Summer 2020. The new stadium will be able to host more than 1800 people and includes “new individual bleacher seats and informal seating for up to 300 on the surrounding landscaped berm (a path or grass strip beside a road)” says the SFU Construction Project Website. This project is in collaboration with the SFSS and the University, and will cost $15 million dollars with an additional $10 million from SFSS. 

“Guests will come together to enjoy sports and entertainment in a comfortable campus facility overlooking the Lower Mainland, with covered, theatre-style seating close to the field for an enhanced spectator experience” says the SFU Athletics website. “As Canada’s only university competing in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the stadium will play an instrumental role in supporting SFU student athletes and raising the profile of the University.”

Plaza Renewal

The public plaza from Starbucks Plaza to AQ Plaza will be replaced along with the subsurface waterproofing. Phase 1 is set to be completed by Fall, 2019 and Phase 2 by Fall, 2020. 

Residence Dining Hall:

The Dining Hall is getting an expansion. This $24 million renovation will triple the size of the current dining hall and, according to the SFU Construction Project page, will add 700 seats — including a patio addition. This is said to be completed by Fall, 2020. 

Education Building Renovation

The Education Building is receiving a $26 million renovation, which will include window, door, and skylight replacements. This is set to be completed Fall, 2019.

Comix Biomass:

The Burnaby Mountain District Energy Utility Project is an addition to the already established district energy utility that provides energy for heating and hot water to UniverCity. The UniverCity website says that “the utility will decrease associated greenhouse gas emissions on Burnaby Mountain by approximately 85 per cent at full buildout.”