Selkirk College students in Castlegar and Nelson will have more access to student housing as provincial funding for 148 beds in two new buildings has been approved.
These new buildings will provide more on-campus housing options, while helping to reduce rental-market pressure in both communities.
“When students can focus on their studies, they are more likely to succeed in their educational goals,” said Anne Kang, Minister for Advanced Education and Skills Training. “That’s why we are investing in student housing throughout B.C. as part of our Homes for B.C. 10-year plan. Adding these new spaces in Castlegar and Nelson means more students can commit to their studies without the worries of where to call home during the school year.”
The three-storey Castlegar building will have 112 new student beds, and the two-storey Nelson building at the Silver King Campus will have 36 new student beds. Both buildings will include two family units and two accessible units.
“It is exciting to envision what this new housing will do for students who attend our regional college in the future,” said Katrine Conroy, MLA for Kootenay West and a Selkirk College alumna. “The college is a major driver of our regional workforce, with graduates found in every corner of our communities. We need to ensure that while people are going to school, they have stable housing, and as the Minister Responsible for the Columbia Basin Trust (CBT), I also want to thank CBT for their ongoing support for Selkirk College.”
Selkirk College has more than 2,800 full-time students. The college currently offers 100 beds at its existing student housing at the Castlegar campus and 109 beds at the Tenth Street campus in Nelson. It will be the first student housing offered at the Silver King campus in Nelson.
“Equitable access to an affordable post-secondary education is fundamental to our mission at Selkirk College,” said Angus Graeme, president, Selkirk College. “These new units will enable us to address the local student housing crisis and support more students with secure and stable housing. Having the opportunity to live affordably on campus near the classrooms and services means that students can focus on being successful in their courses and programs.”
Construction is anticipated to begin in early 2022, with completion in summer 2023. The projects are estimated to add 111 direct jobs and 59 indirect jobs.
Brittny Anderson, MLA for Nelson-Creston –
“The challenges of finding affordable housing for post-secondary students in the Nelson area has been an issue for many years. We are working hard, in partnership with a variety of ministries and post-secondary institutions, to provide affordable housing for British Columbians that need it the most. When students gain access to these new units, it takes pressure off the overall housing market and that is good news for everyone.”
Johnny Strilaeff, president and CEO, Columbia Basin Trust –
“We know affordable rental housing continues to be a significant challenge in the Columbia Basin, especially for students looking to pursue their studies in the region. We’re excited to be partnering with Selkirk College to support these two projects in Castlegar and Nelson to address the local demand, enabling skills development, supporting overall community well-being and increasing housing options that are also energy efficient.”
Rhys Andrews, vice-president education, Selkirk College –
“Affordable on-campus housing contributes significantly to student success. This wonderful announcement means more of our learners can access safe and modern on-campus housing that is close to classrooms and services while having an opportunity to meet new friends. These are essential conditions that contribute to student engagement, well-being and overall success.”
Jace Lamoureax, student, Selkirk College –
“Living in student housing, I’m only a short walk away from all of my classes and extracurriculars. It opens so many other opportunities as well, such as on-campus work, getting involved in the student community and being close to new friends. Living on campus makes the beginning of many students’ post-secondary journeys influential and unforgettable.”
- The $24.5-million new student housing facility received $23.6 million from government, with $17.8 in grants and a loan of $5.8 million. The remaining funding was provided by CBT.
- Founded in 1966, Selkirk College was the first rural regional community college in British Columbia. It has campuses in Castlegar, Nelson, Trail and Grand Forks.
- The college offers more than 60 programs serving more than 2,800 full-time learners per year in certificate, diploma, bachelor degree, co-operative education and continuing education programs.
For more about Selkirk College, visit: https://selkirk.ca/
A backgrounder follows.