UBCO Finance and Operations News

Access to Upper Campus and other new transportation options this fall

There are many new changes to transportation to, from and around UBC Okanagan coming this fall.

The following updates will help you plan ahead and make the first day of the academic year as smooth as possible.

John Hindle Drive and Upper Campus Way OPEN Sept. 4

The City of Kelowna’s John Hindle Drive extension project is complete and the new access road —  Upper Campus Way — will be open on Sept. 4 for the start of the academic year.

The City of Kelowna has also indicated that the new pedestrian overpass that crosses John Hindle Drive is also nearing completion. It is expected to be open and ready for use by mid-Sept.

Until the overpass is complete, all pedestrians travelling between the Academy Hill neighbourhood and the university are to use the new sidewalk along Academy Way and Upper Campus Way. Crossings at Alumni Avenue will no longer be permitted.

Pedestrians can also utilize one of the new transit routes connecting the Academy Hill neighbourhood to the campus.

University Way CLOSED Sept. 4

After the annual residence move-in process on Sept. 2, University Way between International Mews and the entrance to Parking Lot F will be permanently closed to traffic to create a pedestrian-only space for the campus community.

All motor vehicles are to use John Hindle Drive between Hollywood Road North and Upper Campus Way to travel between Upper and Lower Campus.

Transit and cycling improvements

Beyond these changes, there are a number of improvements to getting to UBC by transit or by bike.

The City of Kelowna and BCTransit are increasing the frequency and number of transit routes that serve campus, including changes to the routes that connect UBC to the Glenmore area and Lake Country. In addition, transit will go on Academy Way through the Academy Hill neighbourhood, which offers an alternative option for pedestrians to get to campus until the pedestrian overpass is complete. These changes come into effect on Sept 2.

Cyclists will also enjoy more access to campus via new and improved routes that will be completed by the City of Kelowna in September. These include a new bike path on John Hindle Drive, the Okanagan Rail Trail, an Academy Way bike lane as well as a number of other improvements.

More bike racks will also be installed around campus for the start of school in anticipation of more cyclists commuting to the university.

To find out more about these changes and how you can navigate to, from and around campus visit the UBC Okanagan Wayfinding Map and Transportation website.

Campus Facilities Update

The UBC Okanagan community will see a variety of exciting changes on campus over the coming academic year, including:

  • the opening of new teaching, study and research space
  • the start of new building construction
  • significant improvements to campus access with the opening of new cycling and other routes to the university neighbourhood

Here’s a quick look at some of the changes coming to our campus this year.

Student residence expansion

Planning is underway for two new student residence projects approved by UBC’s Board of Governors earlier this year, with construction expected to begin in early 2019:

  • The Nechako Housing Commons between the University Centre and the Commons Field will feature a 500-seat dining hall in the lower level and 220 beds in four upper storeys of residences
  • A new 220-bed Skeena residence will be built adjacent to the Purcell residence.

The Commons to open later this term

Construction continues on The Commons (formerly known as the Teaching and Learning Centre). Expected to be open for use later in the first term, this important multi-purpose student learning facility beside the existing Library building will feature more than 65,000 sq. ft. (6,000 sq. m.) of space.

Facilities in The Commons will include the Hon. D. Ross Fitzpatrick Great Hall, the Lois and Cliff Serwa Reading Room, a 400-seat classroom, Visualization and Emerging Media Studio, UBC Studios Okanagan, and Special Collections and Archives.

Upper Campus Health Building

The former Mountain Weather Office, on Discovery Ave. in the northwest area of campus, is now the Upper Campus Health Building and has been reconfigured to support research in health and exercise sciences.

Cycling routes to campus

The City of Kelowna is nearing completion of a number of cycling routes that will be available for use this fall. These include:

  • A multi-use pathway adjacent to John Hindle Drive connecting to Glenmore Road to the west
  • The Okanagan Rail Trail connecting to the Kelowna Airport to the north and downtown to the south
  • A cyclist and pedestrian overpass over John Hindle Drive, connecting UBC Okanagan with the Academy Hill neighbourhood to the south

Also enhancing cycling access to campus is the Acland Road / Bulman Road / Highway 97 underpass connecting UBC Okanagan with the Okanagan Rail Trail and Rutland to the east.

The number of bike racks and lockers on campus is being significantly increased to support the expected increase in trips to and from campus by bike.

Read more about getting to campus

Wayfinding map update

Please note that the UBC Okanagan campus wayfinding map is being updated to include the latest road changes, and the new version will be published online on Tuesday, September 4, as new routes to campus are opened.

For more about UBC Okanagan projects, visit the 
Campus Planning and Development website

John Hindle Drive Update

When completed in 2018, John Hindle Drive will connect Glenmore Road in the west with Highway 97 in the east. (View larger image from Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)

Construction traffic notice

Please be advised that John Hindle Drive will be closed between Alumni Avenue and Academy Way on Tuesday, July 4 at 7 a.m.

This road closure is required to facilitate the construction of the new roadway alignment and connection of Glenmore Road to Highway 97. This closure will be in effect until July 2018.

  • Pedestrians and cyclists are advised to follow the temporary signage as a guide for safe access between Academy Hill residences/Aberdeen Hall School and the UBC Okanagan campus.
  • Motorists are advised to plan an alternate route around the road closure via Highway 97.

(View larger image)

Please watch for construction and route detour signs near the university campus.

Notification of future traffic changes

As John Hindle Drive construction continues, UBC Okanagan’s Campus Planning and Development Office will continue to update the campus community via the web, the UBC Okanagan Exchange newsletter, and project update emails as appropriate.

If you have questions about traffic changes or road closures, please contact:

Roger Bizzotto
Associate Director, Facilities Management
UBC Okanagan

About the project

Managed by BC’s Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure in partnership with the City of Kelowna, the John Hindle Drive extension project will consist of a 1.6-km, two-lane roadway connecting Highway 97 to Glenmore Road via UBC Okanagan’s upper campus lands.

The project will also include construction of a multi-use paved pathway for pedestrians and cyclists from Glenmore Road to the Hollywood Road roundabout at Highway 97 near UBC Okanagan, and a new road connecting the campus to John Hindle Drive.

All work is anticipated to be complete by the end of summer 2018.

Information about the John Hindle Drive project
(City of Kelowna website)

UBC Okanagan focus of $40 million investment for library expansion and infrastructure upgrades

Deborah Buszard, UBC deputy vice-chancellor and principal, Okanagan campus, far left, poses on the construction site with chief librarian Heather Berringer, student union president Blake Edwards, MP Stephen Fuhr, MLA Norm Letnick, and former UBC Okanagan student union president Tom Macauley.

A joint federal-provincial and university investment totalling $40.65-million was announced today at UBC’s Okanagan campus to establish a new Teaching and Learning Centre and fund various sustainability and infrastructure upgrades.

Kelowna-Lake Country MP Stephen Fuhr, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and Norm Letnick, Minister of Agriculture and MLA for Kelowna-Lake Country, on behalf of Andrew Wilkinson, Minister of Advanced Education, were on campus for today’s announcement.

“This investment in the development of UBC’s Okanagan campus is testament to the power of partnerships between governments, post-secondary and students,” said Santa Ono, UBC president and vice-chancellor. “I look forward to seeing the many great things that will come from the work undertaken by UBC students and researchers in these new and enhanced facilities.”

The bulk of the funding, $35 million, including a major investment by students, will go toward the Teaching and Learning Centre, an expansion and renewal of the campus library. In October 2014, students passed a referendum to partner with UBC to fund, though student fees, an expansion of the library.

“Thank you to the federal and provincial governments for these important investments in the future of UBC in the Okanagan,” said Deborah Buszard, UBC deputy vice-chancellor and principal, Okanagan campus. “I want to express my gratitude to our students for their commitment of up to $10 million to establish the Teaching and Learning Centre. It is an extraordinary contribution to future generations.”

The funding will also support environmental sustainability projects for research infrastructure, which will focus on sustainability upgrades to 11 campus buildings and provision of services and utilities to the UBC Innovation Precinct.

More details about today’s announcement can be found at: gov.bc.ca.newsrelease


New Finance Operations and Strategies website coming soon

The new Finance Operations and Strategies website (finance.ok.ubc.ca) is estimated to go-live on Wednesday, October 5, 2016. The new website will combine the old Payment & Procurement Services and Finance websites into one website.

Our goal is to increase customer service by having one source that combines all finance/research resources for the campus community to access.

The website will also provide direct links to important information on the UBC Vancouver Finance website.

Important Note: when accessing pages that are directly linked to UBC Vancouver Finance, you will be prompted to sign in using your CWL Login. Signing in once will allow you to access all locked information. This is due to heightened security features of accessing sensitive information.

Smoking gazebo changes

Recently, the following changes were made to the smoking gazebos outside the Library and Administration (ADM) buildings:

  • June 25 and 26
    The wooden gazebo outside ADM was removed. The gazebo had reached the end of its lifecycle.
  • July 9 and 10
    The steel gazebo near the Library building was moved to the location outside ADM.

Smoking is no longer permitted at the location near the library building, but will be permitted at the steel gazebo outside ADM once the gazebo is secured and ready for use. The gazebo is expected to be available later today.

These gazebo changes were recommended by UBC Okanagan’s University Health and Safety Committee in order to provide a pedestrian route that is free of second-hand smoke, while also ensuring that designated smoking gazebos remain available on campus.

Other gazebo locations on campus include:

  • Southwest exit of the ADM building, behind the cafeteria.
  • Between the Arts (ART) and Creative and Critical Studies (CCS) buildings.
  • North of the University Centre (UNC).
  • Kalamalka gazebo (between Kalamalka and Nicola).
  • Monashee gazebo (between Similkameen and Monashee).

In the fall, UBC-Okanagan will release a wellness survey to the campus community that includes a section on campus smoking gazebos. Until the survey is released, please feel free to provide your feedback regarding these changes at the following link: http://goo.gl/forms/QNmLLaqHvCXK5h0x1

Support is available for those who are trying to quit smoking. Health and Wellness offers Nicotine Replacement Therapies, counselling, and other cessation support to students. Other resources include:

Reminder: For health and fire safety reasons, smoking on university property is only allowed in the designated smoking gazebos. It is the responsibility of all employees to ensure that smokers use these designated spaces and dispose of their waste properly.

New safety app launched

safety app
UBC Okanagan has a new tool to promote safety

UBC Safe is a free mobile app for our entire community — students, faculty and staff.

Download the app today on the App Store or the Google Play store.

Planned Power Outage – January 13th & 14th, 2016

Project Services has been tasked with replacing the emergency generator that services the following buildings:

  • Science building
  • Library
  • Gymnasium
  • Arts Building
  • Central Heating Plant
  • Creative and Critical Studies.

The existing emergency generator is at end of life and provincial funding has been recently granted for replacement.  The province requires project completion before March 31st, 2016.

Replacing this infrastructure is a preventative measure that reduces the risk of loss associated with unplanned power failures.  Extensive planning has been done within Campus Operations and Risk Management and IT Services to ensure the project plan protects health and safety and minimizes disruption to teaching and research.

Impact to Faculty, Staff and Students

Project Services has created an aggressive project schedule and restricted work plan that limits contractor activities between the hours of 10 pm and 5 am.

This project only affect electrical circuits that have emergency backup power (e-circuits). The circuits that are not provisioned with emergency backup power (most circuits) will remain fully functional at all times.  

Affected equipment will include teaching and research equipment, such as fume hoods, -80 freezers, and other research critical equipment that has been connected to emergency power/uninterrupted power supply (UPS).  Equipment with UPS will receive battery power during the outage but the duration is dependent on equipment energy load demands and age of UPS.  Life safety building support systems such as emergency exit lighting may be intermittent.

To protect occupants and comply with Fire Code and WorkSafeBC regulations the project has the following requirements during the project period:

  1. Building evacuation – no occupancy
  2. Early closure of the following buildings:
    • Science Building closure at 9pm (2 hours early)
    • Library closure at 10pm (2 hours early)
    • Arts Building closure at 10pm (1 hour early)
    • Creative and Critical Studies at 9pm (1 hour early)
  3. Lab experiments including unattended operations follow shut down safety procedures. The Laboratory Safety Guidebook can be accessed at http://riskmanagement.ok.ubc.ca/safety/chemsafety.html

A 4-hour maximum interruption to e-circuits is expected on January 13th.  A 2-hour maximum interruption to e-circuits is anticipated on January 14th, followed by a series of cycles switching between normal and e-power for a period of up to 4 hours.  This process will be closely monitored during the project period by Campus Operations and Risk Management staff.

Campus Operations would like to thank those affected for their patience and cooperation.  Your support will ensure that the replacement of the emergency generator will further strengthen emergency power supply to life safety systems and critical research equipment.  Further inquiries can be directed either of us.  A more details project overview will be available on Project Services website later this week.  See http://projectservices.ok.ubc.ca/welcome.html



Shelley Kayfish, Director
Campus Operations and Risk Management

Rob Einarson, Associate Vice President
Finance and Operations