New satellite UFV campus at Clearbrook Library possible

A new satellite campus for the University of the Fraser Valley could be open by the beginning of 2012.

A new satellite campus for the University of the Fraser Valley could be open by the beginning of 2012.

UFV and the city have an agreement in principal to allow the educational facility to lease the basement of the Clearbrook Library.

An information report, which will be presented to council today, outlines the proposal which would see UFV fund all the renovations. The deal has a completion deadline of January 2012.

As part of the basement renovations, a small expansion will be made to the city’s record storage (1,700 square feet) which is also located in the basement.

“This is a great deal for the city and UFV,” said Mark Taylor, Abbotsford’s general manager of parks, recreation and culture.

“A city campus located here provides easy access to the library and The Reach archives.”

Potentially, the lease could go for 20 years – a five-year deal, with three additional five-year options – giving UFV a stable presence in the heart of the city.

Discussions between the two parties have been ongoing, ever since the basement became available for use. Originally, the city was going to renovate the area for library use, but the decision to build a new public library as part of the construction of Abbotsford Collegiate Secondary school, allowed the space to be leased.

While the idea of a city campus has been discussed at council before, Taylor said full details are now being released because the city recently received permission from the provincial Ministry of Advanced Education to move forward.

According to  a report by UFV’s Dr. Sue Brigden, enrolment in Abbotsford has increased to the point that UFV lacks sufficient space to accommodate some programs.

Several years ago, UFV leased property from the city and created the Marshall Road Annex (at 34194 Marshall Road). Classes offered there will be relocated to the bigger library space.