Work begins on Biomed Building site

Brandon Watson // Special to Western News

The new Biomedical Research Facility footprint includes a large section of the Medical Science parking lot.

Early work on the new Biomedical Research Facility has begun with construction fence going up in the Medical Science Parking Lot and a section between the Siebens Drake Research Institute and the Medical Science Building already excavated.

“The campus community will be seeing what we call ‘early works,’” said Amanda Bettridge, Project Manager. “Basically, we are in the process of preparing the site for the main construction phase by relocating and accessing services, grading the landscape, and – in this case – installing new generators.”

According to Bettridge, early work will continue into February. During this phase of the project the campus community can expect changes in the area, including:

  • Sidewalk restrictions will occur between the Siebens Drake and Medical Science parking lots. A popular cut-through for pedestrians entering campus from the northwest end of campus, the passage will be closed until the completion of the project. A detour will guide pedestrians around to the south side of the building along Elgin Road;
  • A small patch of growth that leads down the hill towards the hospital will be removed to accommodate building’s foundation and construction activities. Many of the trees will be replenished during the landscaping phase of the project, while the balance will be incorporated into Facilities Management’s annual planting of 150 trees in other areas of campus; and
  • Parking customers in Medical Science and adjacent parking lots will feel the impact of the new facility. During early works and construction, several spots in Medical Science and Siebens Drake lots will be disrupted, causing a cascade of changes to the surrounding lots. For example, several visitor spaces in the Social Science lot will be reserved for clinic guest parking. Springett Lot has added Pay N’ Display and Honk Mobile spaces to accommodate guests displaced by the reassigned spaces in the Social Science lot.

“The site is tucked up in the northwest side of the Medical Science parking lot and construction will have little impact on nearby roadways,” Bettridge said. “However, we appreciate the patience of those who may have to make some minor adjustments to their route or preferred parking spot.”

The main phase of construction will begin in February 2020 and complete in Summer 2022.