Langara College proposing massive expansion of its Vancouver campus

Jun 20 2019, 7:58 pm

Big plans are afoot for the future of Langara College’s campus in South Vancouver, as the post-secondary institution is planning a major renewal and expansion project.

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Langara College has submitted a rezoning application to the City of Vancouver to increase the allowable floor area of its campus — located at 100 West 49th Avenue — from 815,500 sq. ft. to 1.45 million sq. ft. with the addition of five new buildings that replace existing aging academic buildings. This will expand the institution’s usable space by nearly twice the size.

Altogether, 1.1 million sq. ft. of new floor area will be constructed across five buildings, including three six-storey buildings, one four-storey building, and a single-storey Indigenous Meeting House pavilion building. The maximum building height would be 101 ft.

Current condition:

Langara College Vancouver

Aerial view of the existing Langara College Vancouver campus. (Google Maps)

Future condition:

Langara College Vancouver

Proposed conceptual form of the Langara College Vancouver campus expansion. (Langara College)

“With the exception of the Indigenous Meeting House, all new building sites have been proposed on existing parking lots and the sites of existing buildings approaching the end of their design life. This strategy allows for the campus to maintain and improve upon its complement of green spaces,” reads the application designed by¬†Schmidt & Associates Development Planning.

The existing buildings that will remain include Building B, Langara Student Union, Science & Technology Building, and Library, which has a combined total of about 350,000 sq. ft. of floor area.

Langara College Vancouver

Proposed conceptual form of the Langara College Vancouver campus expansion. (Langara College)

Langara College Vancouver

Proposed conceptual form of the Langara College Vancouver campus expansion. (Langara College)

Langara College Vancouver

Proposed conceptual form of the Langara College Vancouver campus expansion. (Langara College)

At this stage, there are no detailed building designs, as the rezoning focuses on the allowable form and scale of the multi-phase expansion, which will be subject to the development application process. Solar panels could be incorporated onto all of the building rooftops as a sustainability measure.

Extensive landscaping improvements are also envisioned, with a “balance” of revitalized and enriched softscape areas and a focus on indigenous landscaping that showcases native plant materials that revitalize existing wetlands, while also supporting the site’s stormwater strategy.

For example, the existing duck pond on the northeast corner of the site, which has been neglected in recent years, will be revitalized.

Langara College Vancouver

Proposed conceptual form of the Langara College Vancouver campus expansion. (Langara College)

Langara College Vancouver

Proposed conceptual form of the Langara College Vancouver campus expansion. (Langara College)

With the redevelopment of its ground-level parking spaces for new academic buildings, the institution is aiming to create new replacement underground parking, with a proposed target campus parking supply of 1,100 vehicle parking stalls.

The area beyond the campus property is also expected to see significant changes over the coming years. The municipal government’s Cambie Corridor Plan will spur new mid-rise, mixed-use redevelopments on the strip of existing single-family homes on the north side of West 49th Avenue from Cambie Street to Ontario Street. A new retail corridor will also be created as the ground-level space of these redevelopments are slated as commercial space.

As well, just west of the campus, Langara Family YMCA is planning a major redevelopment of its site with a new aquatic centre, recreational and community facilities, an 11-storey affordable rental housing building, and a 20-storey market housing tower.

The redevelopments projects in the area would likely increase ridership at the Canada Line’s Langara-49th Avenue Station.

Langara College has an enrolment of approximately 21,000 students. The institution recently had its eyes set on a new satellite campus within Emily Carr University’s old Granville Island campus, but it was unsuccessful as Arts Umbrella was chosen to use the space.

Langara College Vancouver

Site of Langara College om South Vancouver. (Langara College)

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