College of the Rockies to add 96 beds for student housing

College of the Rockies to add 96 beds for student housing

$17.7 million project of six cottage-style buildings to be completed by 2020

The provincial government announced the addition of 96 student beds in six cottege-style buildings to be built at the College of the Rockies Cranbrook campus and open next year.

Melanie Mark, the Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, unveiled the project on Thursday, which will benefit students as well as allleviate the rental vacancy rate in Cranbrook.

“The importance of this announcement is that this is going to be a deal-breaker for communtiy. I know that there’s a really, really low rental vacancy rate — I think it’s 1.2 per cent,” said Mark, addressing a crowd of dignitaries and college students and staff.

“…College of the Rockies is a destination of choice and I think you’re doing amazing things in the community.”

Mark noted she toured the province’s post-secondary institutions when she was appointed in her cabinet position in 2017, and heard student concerns on a lack of housing province-wide, not just in the Lower Mainland.

The project will be consistent with CleanBC priorities and include barrier-free first-floor units, with projected monthly rents 30-40 per cent below current market rates in Cranbrook.

The housing plans included consultations with Indigenous students, which helped create the designs that incorporated a balance of privacy — individual bedrooms and bathrooms — with common gathering areas in kitchens and living rooms.

The province will contribute $11.6 million, the college will kick in $6.1 million and the Columbia Basin Trust will fund $1 million.

“This project is an investment in our students, an investment in Cranbrook, because it will mean nearly 100 students won’t be competing for Cranbrook rentals, and an investment in the future because it will be energy efficient,” said David Walls, COTR president and CEO, in a press release.

“It’s exciting to think of the increased vibrancy and sense of community at the college from more students living on campus.”



trevor.crawley@cranbrooktownsman.com

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