Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training Melanie Mark was in Terrace Sept. 6 to announce an $18.7 million provincial investment towards new student housing at Coast Mountain College’s local campus. (Brittany Gervais/Terrace Standard)

Coast Mountain College to build new student housing in Terrace with $18.7 million provincial funding

Construction of two new three-storey buildings will be complete in fall 2021

New student housing will replace the more than 40-year old buildings at Coast Mountain College’s Terrace campus thanks to an $18.7 million investment from the province.

Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training Melanie Mark was in Terrace Sept. 6 to deliver the news as students began their first week back in class.

“Being the first person in my family to graduate from high school and go to college — for some people that is a big move. To pack up, to leave your clan, to leave your family to go get a brighter future, you want to go to a place that gives you a sense of belonging,” Mark says.

The total cost of the project is $19.7 million with the college coming up with the remaining $1 million.

Construction is to start next summer on the first of two three-storey residential buildings to replace four obsolete structures. The second is due for completion in the fall of 2021. Each will contain 54 beds.

In all, 71 beds will be replaced and 33 new ones added. There will also be four suites for Elders or relatives to visit students in residence.

READ MORE: Northwestern B.C. college intensifies international student recruitment

“Students that are coming from outside of Terrace, they will now be able to have their family stay in residence with them, which was not allowed previously,” says Lenda Girard, student union organizer. “It’s long overdue. We drastically need this, especially with an anticipated growing student population and the lack of affordable, safe rentals in town.”

Each new building will have accessible communal spaces like a student lounge, study space, Indigenous cultural space and common kitchen.

New on-campus housing has been high on the list of priorities for students for years, Girard says. When residences are full, students often have trouble finding affordable rental options off-campus with rising prices and fewer vacancies in Terrace. The current buildings date back to the mid-1970s with aging and outdated infrastructure.

“We’ve heard students weren’t even allowed to have their own hot-plate because the wiring is so old, it would trip breakers. No two students could be boiling a kettle, using a microwave or use hot-plates to cook,” Girard says.

READ MORE: College adds work camp-style dorm rooms for students here

Charlotte Guno, acting vice-chair of the college’s First Nations Band Council described the living conditions of one of the students as “terrible.”

“The dollars are the first step to providing our students with safe, clean, affordable student housing. A home away from home is vital for student success,” Guno says.

The new dormitories will also be more energy-efficient, Mark says. “It’s going to be a big deal for this community.” 

The existing residences will be demolished in phases so as to ensure there are as many residential spaces as possible during construction.


 


brittany@terracestandard.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

From left: Justin Kohlman, CMTN vice-president, Nicole Halbauer, CMTN board chair, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training Melanie Mark, Charlotte Guno, acting vice-chair of the college’s Kitsumkalum Band Council, Kitsumkalum matriarch Sharon Bryant, and student union organizer Lenda Girard. (Brittany Gervais/Terrace Standard)

Just Posted

Artist Mike Dangeli gives his son, Hayetsk, a shoulder ride on Oct. 4. (Mike Dangeli/Instagram)
Skeena Voices | ‘The culture and the art saved my life’

Terrace-based artist shares stories of the journey that brought him here

The City of Terrace now requires masks at all indoor City facilities. (File Photo)
Masks to be required in all indoor City of Terrace facilities

Requirement comes as B.C. sees increase in COVID-19 cases

Northern Health saw 14 cases in one day earlier this week, the highest in one day since the beginning of the pandemic. (Image courtesy CDC)
Northern Health sees highest number of new COVID-19 cases in one day

Oct. 27 saw the highest number of new cases in the Health Authority since the start of the pandemic

Over the years, Janice Blackie-Goodine’s home in Summerland has featured elaborate Halloween displays and decorations each October. (File photo)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about Halloween?

Oct. 31 is a night of frights. How much do you know about Halloween customs and traditions?

FILE - In this Jan. 23, 1987 file photo, actor Sean Connery holds a rose in his hand as he talks about his new movie “The Name of the Rose” at a news conference in London. Scottish actor Sean Connery, considered by many to have been the best James Bond, has died aged 90, according to an announcement from his family. (AP Photo/Gerald Penny, File)
Actor Sean Connery, the ‘original’ James Bond, dies at 90

Oscar-winner was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000

This house at 414 Royal Ave. became notorious for its residents’ and visitors’ penchant for attracting police. It was also the site of a gruesome torture in August 2018. It was demolished in 2019. KTW
6-year sentence for Kamloops man who helped carve ‘rat’ into flesh of fellow gang member

Ricky Dennis was one of three men involved in the August 2018 attack

Cpl. Nathan Berze, media officer for the Mission RCMP, giving an update on the investigation at 11:30 a.m., Oct. 30. Patrick Penner photo.
VIDEO: Prisoner convicted of first-degree murder still at large from Mission Institution

When 10 p.m. count was conducted, staff discovered Roderick Muchikekwanape had disappeared

Among the pumpkin carvings created this year by Rick Chong of Abbotsford is this tribute to fallen officer Cont. Allan Young.
Abbotsford pumpkin carver’s creations include fallen police officer

Rick Chong carves and displays 30 pumpkins every year

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

An online fundraising campaign in support of the six-year-old boy, Edgar Colby, who was hit by a car on Range Road Oct. 25 has raised more than $62,000 in a day. (Submitted)
$62K raised in 1 day for boy in coma at BC Children’s after being hit by vehicle in Yukon

The boy’s aunt says the family is “very grateful” for the support they’ve received from the community

Health care employees take extensive precautions when working with people infected or suspected of having COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
WorkSafeBC disallows majority of COVID-19 job injury claims

Health care, social services employees filing the most claims

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole rises during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Wednesday October 28, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Conversion therapy ban gets approval in principle, exposes Conservative divisions

Erin O’Toole himself voted in favour of the bill, as did most Conservative MPs

Most Read