TERRACE, BC: Students are not the only ones to benefit from three major construction projects at Coast Mountain College.
An estimated 318 jobs have been created locally on work to build 108 student housing beds, a library renovation and a renewed, more accessible academic and registration hub.
“These projects will not only deliver upgraded learning spaces for students in Terrace and surrounding communities, but also create good jobs for local workers with benefits flowing to their families and into the local area as well,” said Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training. “It’s exciting to think of the collaborations, learning and personal growth that will be inspired inside the walls of these new facilities when they are complete.”
The B.C. government has invested $34 million on the projects, with the college providing $1 million toward the student housing. The ministry estimates the jobs break down as 221 direct jobs and 64 indirect jobs. An estimated 33 more jobs would be created as a result of direct and indirect employees and their families spending those employees’ incomes on consumer goods and services.
“Students, regardless of where they live in the province, deserve the best we can offer in student housing that’s also on par with urban centres,” said Nathan Cullen, MLA for Stikine. “These critical renovations, in addition to 108 new student housing beds, provide the type of major upgrades that show students they’re entering a post-secondary institution they can be proud of. This is also a great investment in the region and will have impact on the Terrace economy.”
As part of the overall $34-million investment, government announced $4.4 million in June 2020 for a library renewal, giving students dedicated space to study and learn following a 2018 flood that impacted the basement of the Spruce Building (Waap Sa’mn).
“I can’t wait to see the response of our students, communities, staff and faculty to these incredible renovations and new spaces,” said Justin Kohlman, president, Coast Mountain College. “These provincial investments will ensure our students will have leading-edge experiential learning provided in a unique learning environment that honours our region.”
The library renovation is expected to be completed this summer. It is co-ordinated with renovations to the two floors above where the main-entry registration hubs, learning space and faculty/administrative offices will be. These renovations are expected to be completed for fall 2022.
In addition, 108 new student housing beds, including one Elder suite and two visitor suites, are set to be ready for students in fall 2021.
The $9 million upgrades to the top two floors of the Spruce Building (Waap Sa’mn) include:
- an accessible focal-point entryway with automatic doors;
- improvements to front-of-house services, including computers, registration counter and staff offices;
- more flexible learning spaces, furniture and technology for students to collaborate;
- reconfigured and modernized faculty and administrative spaces; and
- an upgrade of the building’s HVAC, electrical, mechanical and technology to improve energy efficiency, air quality and comfort.
The Gitxsan, Haisla, Haida, Tsimshian, Nisga’a, Wet’suwet’en and Métis Nation are in Coast Mountain College’s service area. Design elements of the student housing and library are expected to honour and strengthen the college’s relationship with the First Nations and the Métis Nation it serves across its regional campuses. The new student housing facility and library are anticipated to feature Indigenous art created by instructors, alumni and students in the Freda Diesing school of northwest coast art.
“We are so grateful for this support for our students because these projects truly lay the foundation for their success,” said X’staam Hana’ax, (Nicole Halbauer), chair, board of governors, Coast Mountain College.
The B.C. government is directly investing $1.7 billion in planned capital expenses in B.C.’s post-secondary sector over the next three years (2020-21 to 2022-23).
These projects align with the ministry’s mandate to create opportunities for Indigenous peoples to be full partners in B.C.’s economy and provide a clear and sustainable path for everyone to work toward lasting reconciliation. They also support the plan to build 8,000 new student housing units as part of Homes for BC, the B.C. government’s 10-year housing plan, and to support students to succeed in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery.
Written and released by BC Government