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

B.C. wineries are open for indoor tasting despite new provincial health regulations. Photo- 
50th Parallel Winery, Instagram.
Indoor wine tastings still allowed in B.C., not considered a ‘social gathering’

“Tasting is really just part of the retail experience. The analogy I use is you wouldn’t buy a pair of pants without trying them on.”

Mainly clear and sunny skies are expected for the Okanagan-Shuswap region this week. (Maxpixels photo)
Warm, sunny week ahead in Okanagan-Shuswap

Daytime highs will reach the low 20s with mainly clear skies this week

File photo
Trip for cigarettes costs Princeton man $500 and a lecture

You’ve got to start obeying the rules of the road, says judge

The health authority will occupy the building until October 31, 2021. File Photo
Health authority pays town $7.4K monthly to lease Riverside Centre

Facility is being rented for COVID vaccinations

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s mass vaccination program will be delivered to Princeton residents from a clinic set up at the Riverside Community Centre. (Darryl Dyck/CP photo)
COVID vaccinations bookings began for local residents last week

Riverside serves as Princeton’s appointment centre

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

The Red Pill Rapper performs to the crowd gathered for the Rally For Food Security at Blackburn Park on Saturday, April 10, 2021. (Kristal Burgess Photography)
The Red Pill Rapper performs to the crowd gathered for the Rally For Food Security at Blackburn Park on Saturday, April 10, 2021. (Kristal Burgess Photography)
Suspicion of ‘fake news media’ makes rally uncomfortable for Salmon Arm event photographer

More than 300 people counted at city park for ‘Rally For Food Security’

A lady wears a sticker given out after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count slows after last week’s peak

3,219 new cases since Friday, 18 additional deaths

North Cowichan councillor Tek Manhas did not violate the municipality’s code of conduct by posting a sexist meme on Facebook, council concludes. (File photo)
B.C. municipality to take no action against councillor who posted sexist meme

Tek Manhas’s meme doesn’t violate North Cowichan council’s code of conduct, municipality concludes

The former Summerland Asset Development Initiative building on Prairie Valley Road in Summerland was suggested as the site for a temporary transitional housing facility for the community. However, Summerland council has rejected this proposal. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Summerland council rejects transitional housing facility

Concerns raised about short timeline and condition of municipally-owned building

Shayla, an 8-pound black and grey Havanese, was stolen from outside a store on Banks Road on Saturday. (Contributed)
Stolen pup located, Kelowna RCMP confirms

Mounties said on April 12 that Shayla, the 8-pound, black and grey Havanese dog, has been located safe and sound

Penticton Vees continue their winning streak carrying a 5-0 win title as of Sunday night's hockey action. (Cherie Morgan/Cherie Morgan Photography)
Penticton Vees continue winning streak

Sunday night’s 6-1 win has them with five in a row since the start of the season

A sign on a shop window indicates the store is closed in Ottawa, Monday March 23, 2020. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is raising its estimate for the number of businesses that are considering the possibility of closing permanently. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Small business struggling amid COVID-19 pandemic looks for aid in Liberals’ budget

President Dan Kelly said it is crucial to maintain programs to help businesses to the other side of the pandemic

The National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians says that includes attempts to steal Canadian research on COVID-19 and vaccines, and sow misinformation. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
Intelligence committee warns China, Russia targeting Canadian COVID-19 research

Committee also found that the terrorist threat to Canada has shifted since its last such assessment

Most Read