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

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (pxfuel.com)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
110 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Provincial health officers announced 1,005 new cases throughout B.C.

Black Crow Cannabis is just one of Vernon's many pot shops now open in town. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Kelowna has highest cannabis fees in Okanagan

Vernon’s 14 stores pay second highest business licence fees

The Columbia Valley Wetlands are known for their extensive and fragile ecosystem. (File photo)
Wildsight speaks out against logging in Columbia Wetlands

Located 50 kms south of Golden, the proposed operation was justified as bark beetle management

Residents, especially those with yards with long grass and wooded areas, are encouraged to check themselves and their pets for ticks after being outside. Ticks have reportedly been found in Golden near the pump track. File photo
Ticks found in Golden as spring approaches

Between five and 10 people each year go to hospital in Golden for ticks

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

A North Okanagan man in his late 20s was flown to hospital by air ambulance Saturday, April 17, shortly after 6:30 p.m. after allegedly crashing on his longboard on a Spallumcheen roadway. (File photo)
Suspected longboard crash in Okanagan sends individual to hospital via air ambulance

Accident involved a North Okanagan man in his late 20s on Otter Lake Road in Spallumcheen

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday December 8, 2020 in Ottawa. The stage is set for arguably the most important federal budget in recent memory, as the Liberal government prepares to unveil its plan for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery even as a third wave of COVID-19 rages across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Election reticence expected to temper political battle over federal budget

Opposition parties have laid out their own demands in the weeks leading up to the budget

A Kelowna Pride Festival 2019 participant holds up a flag. (Kelowna Pride Society)
Kelowna Pride, RCMP continue to work on ‘Safe Place Program’

A new committee has been formed to refine the ‘Safe Place Program’ created by the Kelowna RCMP

Coldstream Fire Department crews stationed at Kal Lake Provincial Park parking lot on Cosens Bay Road on Sunday, April 18, after a car went over a cliff in the area. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
Driver escapes after car goes over North Okanagan cliff

The driver has been transported to hospital with unspecified injuries

A strange odour at a West Kelowna apartment building prompted the evacuation of 150 residents on Sunday morning, April 18. (Aaron Hemens - Capital News)
Strange smell at West Kelowna apartment prompts evacuation of 150 residents, pets

150 residents ordered evacuated from a West Kelowna apartment building early Sunday morning

Vernon Vipers goalie Roan Clarke celebrates his team’s 3-2 B.C. Hockey League pod play shootout win over the Salmon Arm Silverbacks Saturday, April 17, at Kal Tire Place. (Lisa Mazurek - Vernon Vipers Photography)
Vernon Vipers use shootout to subdue Salmon Arm

Snakes score 3-2 B.C. Hockey League pod play win at Kal Tire Place

This is what’s left of a truck that caught fire at Pyramid Provincial Park off Highway 97 near Summerland Saturday night. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Photo Gallery: Truck gutted by fire at popular Okanagan park, trees saved

Just a metal shell of what once was a pick up truck is left at the scene

Most Read