UBC’s Recreation and Athletic Facilities Strategy is undergoing public consultation until October 23. This strategy — otherwise known as the UBC “GamePlan” — addresses certain needs of the university such as aging facilities and recreational centers.
The preliminary strategy on which UBC is now seeking consultation was approved at the June Board of Governors meeting.
The university has now held four public consultation sessions about the UBC GamePlan.
“The Board wants to hear from the different communities, and to hear the needs and concerns in regards to strategy,” said Michael White, associate vice-president campus and community planning. “This is a strategy that then informs future Board decisions on capital allocation, and it helps inform the typical decision-making process the Board goes through for spending and land use on campus.
“We’ve had a great showing both online and in the open houses so far,” said White. “People are coming out, [and they] are expressing a broad array of needs and interests in regards to the principles and options.”
UBC's senior manager of public engagement, Gabrielle Armstrong, further emphasized the community input.
“We’ve had more responses than we’ve had for almost all our processes in the past. We’ve seen lots of engagement from faculty, staff, students and alumni,” said Armstrong.
A recent public consultation on October 17 took place on the first floor of the Nest. Students in attendance expressed general support of UBC’s proposed plan and for the need for better athletics facilities on campus, most prominently noting the crowdedness of UBC recreational facilities such as the Bird Coop.
“I like that they’re really giving [students] a lot of options — it feels like we have a direct say in what’s going into this,” said Rachel Leong, a second-year student in cognitive systems who attended the consultation. “I also think that having a new sports facility is going to be awesome because [the ones we have are] so busy. I know that fitness really benefits your mental health and performance in school generally, so I think this is really vital for the university.”
Fourth-year faculty of arts student Peter Craigen also emphasized student need.
“I stopped going to the BirdCoop in my first year because it was way too crowded — I got a gym membership elsewhere, even though it was a lot more money,” he said. “I think this is long overdue and I look forward to seeing what they come up with. I’m excited to give some of my input into the final plan.”
The input received during this phase of consultation will be used to inform the proposed strategy that will be presented to the UBC Board of Governors for approval by spring 2017.