This conceptual rendering shows 60 units of student housing at the Salmon Arm campus of Okanagan College expected to be constructed in 2022. (Okanagan College image)

This conceptual rendering shows 60 units of student housing at the Salmon Arm campus of Okanagan College expected to be constructed in 2022. (Okanagan College image)

Student housing to be built on Okanagan College Salmon Arm campus

Province announces 60 beds to help ease housing shortage in community

Student housing is on the horizon for the Salmon Arm campus of Okanagan College.

On Friday, March 5, B.C. Premier John Horgan announced a housing project for the college that will include 60 beds at the Salmon Arm campus, 100 beds in Vernon and 216 beds in Kelowna.

The total cost is projected at $67.5 million, with the province contributing $36.3 million via grants, another $30.2 million in loans and OC providing $1 million.

Construction is expected to start in 2022.

Shuswap-Revelstoke Regional Dean Joan Ragsdale expressed her excitement with the announcement.

“It’s going to be a game changer for our communities and our campus,” she said.

She pointed out that students have trouble now finding accommodation, particularly those from out-of-town and from rural communities in the region, as well as international students.

Regarding location, she said she knows the building will be on the Salmon Arm campus but a decision has not been made on the specific site yet. That will be the next step in the process.

The overall project for the three campuses will include 376 additional affordable student homes in five new student housing buildings, including a combination of single, double and quad suites — resulting in a 260 per cent increase in the number of student beds available. Currently, Okanagan College has no student housing in Salmon Arm or Vernon and 144 student beds housed in a single building on the college’s Kelowna campus.

Evan Smith, a student at the Salmon Arm campus and a board member representing the Okanagan College Students’ Union, said the student union is excited about the announcement.

“There are so few affordable, student-friendly housing options here. This is a much-needed and long overdue improvement… Paying as much or more in rent per month as college tuition is not acceptable….”

College president Jim Hamilton also expressed his approval.

“This is one of those rare moments when… a vision becomes a tangible project that will benefit our communities as an economic driver, help address housing issues in our region, support our goal of reducing our carbon footprint and – most importantly of all – increase access to post-secondary education.”

Premier John Horgan noted that affordable housing is key to building strong, healthy communities.

“This new student housing will help students focus on their studies, and its mass timber construction will create good jobs for local workers.”

Mass timber is a renewable resource with a lower carbon footprint compared to traditional concrete construction, the release stated. The project is expected to create more than 500 direct and indirect local jobs.

The recorded live stream of the announcement is available here.

Read more: College wants student residence on Salmon Arm campus

Read more: 2017 – College grows but council remains cautious


marthawickett@saobserver.net
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CollegeHousingSalmon Arm

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Photo: pixabay.com
Morning Start: Why do dogs like squeaky toys?

Your morning start for Tuesday, April 20, 2021

People are shown at a COVID-19 vaccination site in Montreal, Sunday, April 18, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
211 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health over the weekend

Currently, there are 875 active cases of the virus in the region

A nurse prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. As of April 19, more than 230,000 doses have been administered across the Interior Health region. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press)
More than 230K doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered across Interior Health

A total of 220,216 first doses and 13,775 second doses have been given to residents across the B.C. Interior

A new non-profit after school program starts in Revelstoke. The Revelstoke Afterschool Society focuses on spending time outside. school (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Columbia Basin Trust doles out funds for child care providers

Sixteen Revelstoke providers received money

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

A man drowned while out swimming near the Peach and the children statue in Penticton on Monday, April 19, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton man drowns swimming in Okanagan Lake

A witness brought him to shore and performed CPR but the man later died in hospital

FILE – Health-care workers wave to people clapping and yelling thank you to the frontline workers during the 7 p.m.-tribute outside the Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver, B.C. Wednesday, April 8, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. nurses issue plea for all to follow health orders as hospitalizations spike

Nurses worried about strain COVID-19 is having on hospital capacity, care

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The river channel north of Osoyoos Lake where a man and his dog were rescued on April 19. (Google Maps)
Man and dog rescued from South Okanagan river channel

The man had driven his Jeep into the river off of the dike roadway near Osoyoos Lake

Jasmyn Yakura’s 2004 Chevy Aveo ended up going off Cosens Bay Road Sunday, April 18, with her behind the wheel, and coming to rest down a steep cliff. Yakura suffered only minor injuries. She was helped back to the road by a friend travelling behind her when the car left the road. (Yakura family photo)
North Okanagan driver credits seatbelt with saving life

Jasmyn Yakura, 17, survived after car went off Cosens Bay Road over a cliff, flipping ‘five or six times or more’

University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams is photographed in the stands during the Greater Victoria Invitational at CARSA Performance Gym at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, November 29, 2019. The University of Victoria says Williams has resigned effective immediately. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
University of Victoria women’s rowing coach resigns by mutual agreement

Lawsuit filed last summer accused Barney Williams of verbal abuse

Former B.C. premier Christy Clark. (Black Press Media files)
Former B.C. premier to testify at money laundering hearing today

Attorney General David Eby has been added to the witness list as well

Most Read