Finishing touches still need to be done, but students are set to move into the new residence towers at the University of Regina this weekend.
The Kīšik Towers are the tallest on campus rising to 14 floors with a wonderful view of Wascana Lake below Regina’s skyline. Kīšik means ‘sky’ in the indigenous language Saulteaux.
Most of the work is done on the inside, save for a few touch-ups and paint jobs. Crews were busy for the media tour on Wednesday, cleaning up after construction.
“We will be ready for our residents but still have work to do, in particular around landscaping and outside,” said President Vianne Timmons.
The towers hold a 606 bed capacity in a variety of four-bedroom, two-bedroom and private dorms along with 16, two-bedroom accessible apartments and eight studio rooms. All units are energy efficient, with LED lights and in-floor heating and cooling systems.
Here’s a tour with fewer reporters in the way pic.twitter.com/d3K1hT1DXW
— Andrew Shepherd (@Andrew5hepherd) September 2, 2015
“It’s just the newness, the new opportunity, the view,” said Abby Rutko, fourth-year student and resident assistant.
The resident assistants have already moved in. They will be there to help first-year students who will begin to arrive on Friday as they start to create a new community living in residence.
“That support network is so key for students as they go through their first year because it’s a massive transformation from high school,” said Devon Peters, President of the University of Regina Student Union (URSU).
From a common room on the 14th floor, the dirt parking lot area below looks a long way from completion but the plan is to have it paved and painted by the end of the month.
The entire project will end up with slightly more parking spots (491) than the amount lost during construction (482). That’s with the help of a new long-term parkade below the Kīšik Towers which includes 139 stalls. The parkade opens up more surface parking with 204 additional short term parking spots available according to Neil Paskewitz, Director of Planning, Design and Construction and Facilities Management.
President Timmons admits parking has always been an issue on campus.
“The issue is more that students can’t get close to the building they want to get close to, not that they can’t get parking spots,” she explained.
She adds, when the University has done audits, it has found empty parking spots during peak times. Timmons isn’t concerned about any parking issues arising during the wait until this lot is paved. She feels the University has sufficient parking on campus, and plenty of spots can be found in other lots.