First new student housing in decades coming to some Okanagan College campuses | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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First new student housing in decades coming to some Okanagan College campuses

FILE PHOTO - Okanagan College campus in Vernon is pictured in this undated photo.
Image Credit: Okanagan College

For the first time in more than 30 years, Okanagan College is getting new student housing.

Okanagan College campuses in Vernon and Salmon Arm campuses, which currently don't have any student housing will see accommodation for students to live in, while Kelowna will see its inventory of beds increase.

On-campus accommodations in Kelowna will increase by 216 beds taking its total up to 360, while Vernon will see 100 brand new beds and Salmon Arm will see 60.

"Together with Okanagan College, we are investing in student housing that will benefit generations of learners who can focus on their studies without worrying about where they will live," Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training Anne Kang said in a media release issued today, June 27.

"We are working hard to deliver 8,000 new student housing spaces on campus throughout B.C. by 2028, and to date, we have more than 6,800 new spaces open or underway throughout the province."

The 376 student beds will cost $67.5 million.

"Having a stable and affordable place to live is critical to the success of learners," Okanagan College president Neil Fassina said in the release. "Adding housing at three Okanagan College campuses will foster more inclusive and equitable access to education that will transform the lives of students."

Construction on the Kelowna buildings is expected to be completed during winter 2023, while the Vernon project is slated to start construction later this year and be completed in early 2024. Salmon Arm's site is expected to start this fall and be complete by spring 2024.

The province said the project will create 500 jobs.

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