A four-storey living wall and a lecture theatre designed in the style of an Interior Salish pit house frames a unique new learning environment at Thompson Rivers University (TRU) for the benefit of students and the local community.
The new 7,000 sq metre House of Learning was celebrated today as a state-of-art facility with a green roof, a living wall, water efficient landscaping and most of its lighting provided by natural light. With the inspiration of First Nations traditions and the hard work of trades people and technicians, students were on hand to show off the largest lecture theatre of its kind in British Columbia.
Cathy McLeod, MP for Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo, Kevin Krueger, MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson, and Minister of Environment Terry Lake, MLA for Kamloops-North Thompson, will join Elders and representatives of the local Aboriginal communities, TRU executive, faculty, staff and students to officially open TRU's newest facility at the Kamloops campus.
TRU received over $28 million for building improvements to the campus through the Knowledge Infrastructure Program. This includes $18 million from the provincial government and $5.9 million from the federal government for the new House of Learning and an additional $4.9 million to renovate existing campus buildings.
The Knowledge Infrastructure Program is a joint federal-provincial investment designed to renew infrastructure at post-secondary institutions across BC while also providing local jobs for communities. These are two of 39 projects at post-secondary institutions across the province with a total investment of more than $520 million including contributions from institutions.
- Located on Kamloops campus, the House of Learning gross building space is over 7,000 sq metres (76,000 sq ft).
- The House of Learning will be the first TRU facility to be LEED Gold certified.
- It includes a four-storey wall covered in plants that is called The Living Wall. Plants help purify the air while aiding in regulating the building's temperature.
- The House of Learning replaces the university's aging library, and provides study space and computer labs as well as areas for student activities. In addition, there is dedicated space for Aboriginal business, technology and leadership programs, as well as the Irving K. Barber British Columbia Centre lecture theatre.
- Design of the lecture theatre was inspired by the traditional "Keek-wili" pit houses of the Interior Salish. The building features a sod roof, and log roof panels made of 492 beetle-killed pine logs.
- It also features state of the art technology to support lectures, meetings, symposia and conferences in a setting that will encourage and facilitate interactive dialogue in the tradition of Aboriginal culture.
- Local log and timber producer Nicola LogWorks produced and installed the timber and log components of the theatre's roof.
- On any given day, TRU has about 15,000 students in full- and part-time studies at the Kamloops campus. The university serves about 29,000 students each year.
Thompson Rivers University: http://www.tru.ca/
TRU House of Learning: www.tru.ca/houseoflearning
Knowledge Infrastructure Program: (infc.gc.ca) http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/696.nsf/eng/home
For a slideshow of the House of Learning (flickr.com)
Knowledge Infrastructure Program
The Knowledge Infrastructure Program is helping to provide economic stimulus and promote employment by creating jobs for engineers, architects, tradespeople and technicians. In B.C. the federal government is providing up to 50 per cent of the cost of selected projects on a cost-share basis with the Province.
The projects are also part of British Columbia's overall $14-billion capital infrastructure program supported by the Province to create jobs and vital public infrastructure in every region of B.C.
Canada's Economic Action Plan set out to stimulate the Canadian economy and to improve our long-term competitiveness through $12 billion in new infrastructure investment, which includes the $2-billion Knowledge Infrastructure Program.
Ministry of Advanced Education
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