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Oct 12, 2012

University of Calgary UToday Article - October 2012

The West Campus Development Trust (WCDT) was appointed by the University of Calgary Board of Governors Governors to lead the planning and development of the west campus lands — with the vision of a vibrant, sustainable community in mind.
The 15-member board of directors appointed in 2011 includes seven representatives with university affiliation, six representatives with a background in business and development, one community representative, and James Robertson as president and CEO of WCDT. The first staff members were added in the spring of 2012.
The independent Trust is a proven model used by other academic institutions, such as the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University, to move forward with a real-estate initiative that is not the university’s core business.
West campus lands are generally described as the land that lies west of the University of Calgary, bounded by Shaganappi Trail to the west, 32 Ave NW to the north and 16 Ave NW to the south. The total planning area for west campus comprises approximately 250 acres, but the planning area includes existing elements that bring the actual site in the planning exercise to approximately 150 acres. The existing facilities in the master planning area, including the Alberta Children’s Hospital, Ronald MacDonald House, the university’s Physical Plant, Family Housing and walkway/public space around the pond, will be maintained. Other uses and facilities such as playing fields, the weather station, parking and additional open space will be part of the planning/design process that will be done collaboratively with stakeholders, the community and the university.
A comprehensive consultation process resulted in the 2007 Master Plan. That plan and the principles developed during the process form the foundation of the process, and will:
• Provide leadership in sustainability;
• Define a strong west campus identity;
• Create a vital pedestrian environment;
• Create a vibrant mixed-use district;
• Improve connections;
• Ensure a seamless integration and appropriate transitions;
• Convenient and efficient transportation.
The Trust is embarking on a process to create an updated Master Plan and looks forward to working with the students, faculty, and staff, as well as the neighbouring communities and adjacent facilities to create that plan.
Committed to operating with integrity and transparency, the WCDT plans to share information openly, seek input, and learn from stakeholders.
You can stay connected and seek opportunities to participate via the West Campus Development Trust Community Newsletter or by adding your name to their email list on their website www.wcdt.ca