Nearly 150 Selkirk College students at the Castlegar and Nelson Silver King campuses can look forward to new on-campus housing with construction underway on the new student housing buildings.
“Today brings us one step closer to providing 8,000 new student housing spaces across British Columbia,” said Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training. “With over 97% of new bed spaces funded or completed, we’re building a more inclusive and affordable education system that benefit students and reduces barriers to post-secondary education.”
The Castlegar campus will receive 112 new student beds and the Nelson Silver King campus will receive 36 new beds. Both buildings will provide post-secondary students housing at below-market rates: 35% lower in Nelson; and 16% lower in Castlegar. Housing is expected to be available to students by January 2024.
“Students need a place to call home that is affordable and allows them time and space to study,” said Maggie Matear, president and CEO, Selkirk College. “We recognize how important access to housing is for young people and how integral it is to their post-secondary experience. I’m proud today to make a difference for generations of students to come.”
Both student housing buildings will be constructed with mass timber and modular wood materials, aligning with B.C.’s Wood First Initiative. Space on the main floors of each building will have fully accessible communal areas that include study spaces, kitchens, dining spaces, living and game rooms, and laundry facilities. Each building will feature a dedicated spiritual space for reflection, which incorporates Indigenous traditions. The Castlegar campus will have four and the Nelson Silver King campus will have two accessible units, creating a total of six accessible units for independent living on Selkirk College campuses.
“Through this project, the stock of affordable housing will increase, the student housing makes inclusivity a priority and the buildings will be built to minimize their effects on climate change,” said Johnny Strilaeff, president and CEO, Columbia Basin Trust. “We are thrilled to partner with Selkirk College and the provincial government on this project, which will make a huge positive impact on students, communities, businesses and the region as a whole.”
Aligned with the Province’s CleanBC plan, the buildings will be constructed using natural products. Both buildings will achieve Step 4 of the BC Energy Step Code and meet CleanBC’s energy-efficiency requirements for new buildings.
Government is investing $29.1 million toward this $31.1-million project, with the remaining funding being contributed by the college and Columbia Basin Trust.
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