Demolition of South Campus buildings

South Campus

Projected completion
Summer 2024

Project type
Demolition to repurpose space

U of A campuses are an ever-changing landscape, and with so many buildings, ranging from simple offices to complex research facilities, it's critical that investments are made in support of continued excellence in education and research. The way in which space is designed, used and maintained are critical factors to the accessibility, effectiveness and sustainability of our campuses.

An evaluation has shown that eight houses on South Campus do not provide adequate space for modern teaching, research or work activities. In February 2024, the university shared that the houses would be demolished to make way for more effective space uses.

Demolition will begin by June 2024. After the buildings are removed, these sites on South Campus will be repurposed for other uses, such as storage areas for university projects. Be aware of any pedestrian detours, equipment or machinery, and please obey all signage in demolition areas.

If you are using spaces near the sites of the eight buildings, you may experience the noise of the demolition. Efforts will be made to reduce these disturbances, especially during business hours, but they cannot be entirely avoided due to the nature of the work.

Future development is not being considered at this time. Any permanent development plans in the future will be guided by the university’s Long Range Development Plan and supporting sector plans.

Common Questions

What will be preserved from the houses?

Items in the houses (furniture or appliances, for example) will be assessed for usability by university staff prior to demolition. If any items can be repurposed, they will be deployed to other university facilities.

Why are the houses being demolished instead of reused?

The houses are at the end of their useful life and are prohibitively expensive to maintain. They are also not up to a standard required to serve the academic and research mandate of the university. In the event there are no viable ways for a building to serve the needs of the institution, as has happened with these eight buildings, demolition can become the outcome.

How much will it cost to demolish the houses? Isn’t the U of A getting rent revenue from current occupants?

The estimated cost to abate and demolish these eight residences, which includes grading and restoration of the properties and all related soft costs, is expected to be approximately $1 million.

The university currently receives rent from the three houses that are currently occupied at or near Edmonton-area market rates for comparable accommodations elsewhere in Edmonton. Tenants have been provided with advanced notice that their leases will be ending.

The houses in question were originally required to support research activities but no longer serve this purpose, and it’s outside of the university’s mandate to provide staff housing or affordable housing.

What public consultation occurred prior to the decision to demolish these eight houses?

While we are happy to engage the broader community on aspects such as land use, decisions about buildings are made exclusively by the university. As unanimously approved by the Board of Governors in June 2019, the U of A’s Integrated Asset Management Strategy (IAMS) guides all decision making by the university in this regard.

As decisions related to the eight vacant buildings were made, members of the university community were informed through information updates to the Board of Governors. To inform neighbouring communities, a meeting with the South Campus Community Group (SCCG) was held on February 21, 2024.

The decision to decommission or sell any of the university’s buildings or property is never easy. We always look at all viable options, and choose the option that best meets the needs of the university in supporting its core mission or teaching, learning and research.

Will any trees be affected by the demolition work being done?

At this time, there are no plans to remove any trees on South Campus.

Trees on our campuses are highly valued and are only removed as a last resort when all other preservation options are unsuitable or the tree itself is no longer healthy. University trees are assessed for removal or trimming if they have been deemed unhealthy, are in poor condition or pose a safety risk.