Melanie Mark, the Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, announces 96 student beds at the Cranbrook campus of the College of the Rockies on Thursday. Trevor Crawley photo

College of the Rockies to add 96 beds for student housing in Cranbrook

$17.7 million project featuring six cottege-style buildings to be completed by 2020

The provincial government announced the addition of 96 student beds in six cottege-style buildings to be built at the College of the Rockies Cranbrook campus and open next year.

Melanie Mark, the Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, unveiled the project on Thursday, which will benefit students as well as allleviate the rental vacancy rate in Cranbrook.

“The importance of this announcement is this is going to be a deal-breaker for communtiy. I know that there’s a really, really low rental vacancy rate — I think it’s 1.2 per cent,” said Mark, addressing a crowd of dignitaries and college students and staff.

“…College of the Rockies is a destination of choice and I think you’re doing amazing things in the community.”

Mark noted she toured the province’s post-secondary institutions when she was appointed in her cabinet position in 2017, and heard student concerns on a lack of housing province-wide, not just in the Lower Mainland.

READ: COTR receives funding to enhance college experience

The project will be consistent with CleanBC priorities and include barrier-free first-floor units, with projected monthly rents 30-40 per cent below current market rates in Cranbrook.

The housing plans included consultations with Indigenous students, which helped create the designs that incorporated a balance of privacy — individual bedrooms and bathrooms — with common gathering areas in kitchens and living rooms.

The province will contribute $11.6 million, the college will kick in $6.1 million and the Columbia Basin Trust will fund $1 million.

Construction is expected to break ground in the summer, and projected to create 53 direct and 43 indirect jobs.

“This project is an investment in our students, an investment in Cranbrook, because it will mean nearly 100 students won’t be competing for Cranbrook rentals, and an investment in the future because it will be energy efficient,” said David Walls, COTR president and CEO, in a press release.

“It’s exciting to think of the increased vibrancy and sense of community at the college from more students living on campus.”

The Cranbrook campus of the College of the Rockies includes 1,800 students, with approximately half from outside the Cranbrook area.

Lauren Spurge, a third-year student in the education program, touted the importance of getting into residence at Purcell House, the only existing student residence on campus.

“I was excited to learn that the college will be able to double the amount of resident spaces on campus as a result of this funding. If I hadn’t been successful getting into residence, my experience here would have been much different and I would have felt much more isolated.

“I’m happy to know that soon more students will experience the benefits of living on campus and I can’t wait to see it.”

READ: College teams up for research project on avalanche safety

Mark says the investment in student housing at the College of the Rockies follows three previous student housing announcments that will see 1,261 units built at B.C. post-secondary institutions.

Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka welcomed the news.

“It’s extremely important,” Shypitka said. “It’s something that’s been down the pipe for a long time, it’s been one of the worst-kept secrets, I think, but it was a good secret. Affordability and the livability in Cranbrook is really important, it’s key. We are one of the number one attraction destinations for advanced education in Canada.

“…This just further facilitates that need, and it also addresses our affordability issues.”



trevor.crawley@cranbrooktownsman.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Just Posted

Castlegar teens rescue man from river

Will Watt and Shay LaFayette helped save a fisherman from the Kootenay River.

Gas venting from tanker at Castlegar rail yard posed no danger: officials

Argon gas discharged from a CP tanker car on Friday, April 19.

Carfentanil found for first time in Castlegar

Killer opiod found in local illegal drug market

Rossland’s Seven Summits school gets grant to grow global presence

Centre for Learning hopes to triple the number of international students it has

Rural dividend grants awarded in Kootenay West

Kootenay West MLA Katrine Conroy made the grant announcements in Trail on Thursday

What’s age got to do with it? B.C. couple with 45-year gap talks happy marriage

An Armstrong couple that has 45-year age gap began turning heads after being featured on show Extreme Love.

Defence accuses officer of ‘incompetence’ in trial for B.C. man accused in daughters’ murder

Double murder trial for the Victoria father accused of killing his two young daughters continues

B.C. men challenge constitutionality of Canada’s secret no-fly list

Parvkar Singh Dulai says he received a “denial of boarding” notification under the no-fly program last May 17

Murder on B.C. property didn’t need to be disclosed before sale, court rules

Buyer had tried to break contract after learning a man with ties to crime had been murdered there

B.C.’s largest Vaisakhi festival target of threatening Facebook post: Surrey RCMP

Police say they are investigating the posts on Facebook, after local MLA forwarded screenshots

Pug life: B.C. town boasts waggish list of dog names

Freedom-of-information request lists most ‘pupular’ dog names registered in White Rock

VIDEO: Fish farming company launches $30-million vessel to treat salmon for sea lice in B.C. waters

Freshwater treatment an improvement but fish farms should be removed from sea, says conservationist

Singh says childhood abuse steeled him for scrutiny and stress of politics

He recounts the assaults for the first time in his book Love & Courage

Despite five extra weeks’ parental leave in Canada, dads still face stigma: survey

One reason people said dads don’t need leave is because they can just bond with their kids at weekend

Most Read