Students at Camosun College are preparing for careers in the health and social services sectors in the newly opened Alex & Jo Campbell Centre for Health and Wellness, featuring modern classrooms, hands-on labs and collaborative study areas.
“This new purpose-built centre is designed around active learning, with flexible labs and technology to simulate real health-care situations and environments,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. “Our government is investing in cutting-edge 21st-century facilities like this so that students can develop the skills they need for rewarding, in-demand jobs, such as nursing, early childhood education or frontline mental health and addictions care.”
The Alex & Jo Campbell Centre for Health and Wellness at Camosun’s Interurban campus was officially opened by Lana Popham, MLA for Saanich South, alongside students, staff and faculty. The new centre includes commons areas for students to gather, a teaching clinic serving members of the public and faculty offices.
“This new facility is an asset to the region and will draw students from all over Canada,” Popham said. “I’m proud to be part of a government that is committed to providing modern facilities for students to train in, so they can find good-paying jobs in hospitals, ambulatory care services, nursing and residential care, where there will be over 25,000 job openings in the next decade.”
The four-storey, 8,900 square-metre (95,000 square-foot) centre brings together most of Camosun’s health and human services programs — previously spread across the Lansdowne campus — and allows for a more interdisciplinary approach to teaching and learning.
The centre houses 15 health and human service disciplines, as well as university-transfer health courses for more than 1,000 students.
The total cost of the building was $63.8 million, including $40.3 million from the Province of B.C., $11 million from Camosun College and contributions from other donors.
The building is named for Alex and Jo Campbell after the Campbell family provided a major gift to honour the care Alex, a founder of Thrifty Foods, received at the end of his life.
The centre also supports the CleanBC strategy, which puts B.C. on the path to a cleaner future. The centre was built to LEED Gold standard using energy sustainability strategies, including passive exterior solar shades, high-performance exterior materials to minimize heat loss and lower air conditioning requirements to decrease energy consumption.
Sherri Bell, president, Camosun College —
“Students at the Alex & Jo Campbell Centre for Health and Wellness are now in innovative classrooms and lab spaces that allow a more interdisciplinary approach to teaching and learning. These students will go on to make life-changing differences to families, communities and patients in the region and beyond. I’m very proud of the hard work of the college community, as well as the support of our provincial and federal partners and the generosity of our donors, including the Campbell family.”
Colleen Leppky-Robertson, student, community, family and child studies —
“This centre for health and wellness is transforming the educational and learning experience for students. The new building is a real game changer, with more spaces for people to study, hang out and talk with each other. I really appreciate the applied, real-world learning with experienced social workers often helping us learn. In the future, I hope to continue my studies and work in child protection.”