Douglas College students will be able to live where they learn for the first time in new student housing at the New Westminster campus.
Douglas College’s first on-campus housing will be a new 20-storey building with 368 student beds, academic space and parking. This will be the largest provincial capital investment into a post-secondary institution that will benefit both students and local renters.
“Students at Douglas College have told us everything we need to hear. They need access to affordable housing so they don’t have the barrier of long commutes and expensive rent,” said Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training. “I’m incredibly excited by this project and historical investment by our government. We’re going to change lives, both at Douglas College and in New Westminster. In 16 years, the old government only built 130 student beds. Our government understands how important housing is for students, and we’re building 8,000 new student beds by 2028. Including Douglas College, we are now more than 85% of the way to reaching that goal.”
Investing in student housing and academic space makes post-secondary education more accessible and affordable for British Columbians, and reduces the pressure on the rental market in surrounding communities.
The $292.5-million project received $202.3 million in provincial funding, while Douglas College provided $90.2 million. Construction is expected to begin in summer 2023, with anticipated completion in summer 2026.
“Students need a place to call home that is affordable and allows them time and space to study,” said Jennifer Whiteside, MLA for New Westminster. “We recognize how important access to housing is for young people and how integral it is to their post-secondary experience. I’m proud that our government is working to make such a positive difference that will directly benefit the lives of future students and their families."
The new building will have 368 student beds in one-, two-, and four-bed units, as well as academic space, including new classrooms, student collaboration space, labs and offices, and food services.
With classes moving to the new academic building, space will become available for other purposes, including a potential expansion of the college's child care facility.
The building will be constructed using natural products, including stone and wood, consistent with the Province's CleanBC plan.
Funding for the new student housing is part of StrongerBC’s Future Ready plan. Future Ready is making education and training more accessible, affordable and relevant to help businesses grow and to prepare British Columbians for the jobs of tomorrow.
Kathy Denton, president, Douglas College –
“The new building, 808 Royal, is the culmination of years of consultation and collaboration to develop a unique building that reflects the kind of supportive community that students have come to expect from Douglas College. This will be a welcoming and accessible space that inspires students to achieve their educational goals and to become resilient global citizens.”
Adel Gamar, board chair, Douglas College –
“Douglas College understands the changing needs of our students. We continue to adapt in supporting students to address the unique challenges of today and tomorrow. Student housing is a testament to the exciting progress in support of our campus community that will bring benefit for years to come.”
Krystyn Llagas, Douglas College student –
“Housing on campus is more than just a place to sleep and study. It’s a place for students like me to build community. 808 Royal will help the future students at Douglas College feel even more connected and supported while they balance their hectic studies, work and life.”
- Douglas College serves more than 25,000 domestic and international students annually.
- Consolidation of the faculties of commerce and business and the humanities and social sciences will allow free space to address other critical campus space shortcomings and will give students easy access to instructors and classmates in the new College District.
- This project will add an estimated 1,074 direct and 890 indirect jobs.
- The project will aim to achieve BC Energy Step Code 4, LEED Gold BD+C certification, and zero-carbon certification.
A backgrounder follows.