Old UFV building leveled for Chilliwack housing plan

Construction company making big moves toward redeveloping old UFV grounds

Demolition of the old UFV building began in earnest on Thursday morning

Demolition of the old UFV building began in earnest on Thursday morning

Piece by piece, the administration building at UFV’s north campus was pulled apart yesterday.

The work began early in the morning and was expected to take until at least Friday, said Eric Van Maren, whose company Van Maren Construction plans to redevelop most of the old UFV site into a new residential neighbourhood.

Clearview Grinding has been prepping Building A for weeks for this demolition, at the corner of Airport and Yale Road. The area could be the new site of an 81-unit apartment building, if the rezoning and subdivision approval is approved by council.

Van Maren Construction is acquiring about 13 acres of the old site, with the intention of creating a mixed residential neighbourhood called Midtown. As their previously released plan suggests, it could include the rental apartment building, townhouses and single family homes. The homes will be set well back from Yale Road, with the eastern portion of the site expected to be subdivided from the west. The theatre building will remain a UFV-owned property, and will continue to be rented out as it is currently. The subdivision also includes removing Building C; Cascade Christian School is working toward purchasing that building to accommodate its growing needs.

The public will get a chance to see the plans and meet with Van Maren at a public information meeting on April 14, in the UFV Theatre lobby. That meeting runs from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and is in addition to any public hearings held at city hall.

Van Maren said previously that, if the rezoning is approved and the plan moves ahead, the roads will be built sometime this summer and townhouses could get underway by the fall. A north-south road is planned that will connect an extended Airport Road to Meadowbrook Drive.

The history of Building A dates back to 1974, when the college was first formed. Over time, Fraser Valley College evolved into a university college, then a university. The university’s growth demanded more space, and they moved to their new, 150,000 sq. ft site at the Canada Education Park in 2012, along with most of their programs.

To learn more about the history of the building, visit UFV Today’s blog post by Anne Russell.