Okanagan College students to get new supply of affordable housing

Click to play video: 'OC breaks ground on new student housing facilities, childcare centre'
OC breaks ground on new student housing facilities, childcare centre
It was a big day for Okanagan College — the institution officially broke ground on two new student housing projects — one in Salmon Arm and the other in Vernon — with a new childcare centre also slated for the Vernon campus. Jayden Wasney reports – Apr 21, 2023

Affordable student housing has become a bit of a dream, but it’s one that will soon come true for some Okanagan College students.

There are three student housing projects in progress at Okanagan College, including a 60-bed mass-timber facility at the Salmon Arm campus, where construction crews will break ground this spring.

Already under construction are a 216-bed facility in Kelowna and a 100-bed project in Vernon.

Click to play video: 'OC nursing student concerned about possible merger with UBCO'
OC nursing student concerned about possible merger with UBCO

Selina Robinson, post-secondary education minister, said the province is committed to building 12,000 student beds across B.C.

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The total cost of all three student housing projects is $67.5 million, with the province investing $66.5 million and Okanagan College funding the remaining $1 million.

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“Having an affordable place to live and the supports that come through student housing is game-changing for learners,”  Dr. Neil Fassina, Okanagan College president, said in a press release.

“This new building will make attending post-secondary programs more possible for more students in Salmon Arm and surrounding communities, whether they are studying and training for careers in health care, trades, science and technology, or business.”

The Salmon Arm student housing project is scheduled to be open to students for the Fall 2024 semester and has a price tag of $13 million.

It will be constructed using mass timber and is designed to meet Step 4 of the B.C Energy Code.

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