While five new student residences at the College of the Rockies Cranbrook campus have been open since last winter, each building has now been named after drawing inspiration from the Ktunaxa language.
Collectively, the new student housing development is referred to as ʔa·kikⱡuʔnam that translates to “village” while each of the five buildings reflect a place name, such as ʔakisqnuk (Columbia Lake), Yaq̓it ʔa·knuqⱡiʔit (Tobacco Plains), ʔaq̓am (St. Mary’s), Yaqan Nuʔkiy (Lower Kootenay) and Kyaknuqliʔit/Kenpesq’t (Kinbasket Shuswap).
“Living on campus enriches the student experience, and this new student housing at College of the Rockies means 100 more students are benefiting from meaningful connections with their peers,” said Anne Kang, Minister for Advanced Education and Skills Training. “This means students can focus on their studies and life on campus, and it helps take pressure off the rental market for the rest of the community.”
All told, the new housing adds 100 new student beds to the existing housing stock at the Cranbrook campus, expanding the number of student beds from 96 to 196. The new housing development also includes four fully accessible units (16 beds) for students with mobility challenges, pedestrian pathways and an outdoor classroom and social space.
The village includes barrier-free, first-floor units and rental rates that are 30 to 40 per cent below current rates in the Cranbrook rental market.
“These new student housing buildings provide a beautiful and much-needed home away from home for College of the Rockies students,” said Paul Vogt, president and CEO, College of the Rockies. “They, along with our Purcell House building, are fully subscribed for the fall semester, demonstrating how great the need was for additional housing options. Not only do learners benefit from living near their classes and college services, but our campus is enhanced by the vibrancy and sense of community that comes from having an additional 100 students living on site.”
The new housing units were built with energy efficiency in mind, utilizing elements from the province’s CleanBC plan, achieving Step 5 of the BC Energy Step Code, while also meeting design and construction standards to earn Passive House International Certification.
The project generated 95 jobs through construction and suppliers, according to the province.
The $19 million development included a $1 million grant from the Columbia Basin Trust.
“Congratulations to the College of the Rockies on the opening of the village and the new building names that honour the connection to the Ktunaxa Nation communities in the region, said Johnny Strilaeff, president and CEO, Columbia Basin Trust.
“This housing meets a clear demand and these barrier-free, affordable housing options increase accommodation availability for students, and support their learning journey, and also benefit the wider community by freeing up more rental options.”
College of the Rockies has approximately 2,200 students, with approximately 51 per cent from outside the Cranbrook area.