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 The current buildings date back to the mid-1970s with aging and outdated infrastructure.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

B.C. premier talks forestry, service needs with handful of northern mayors in Prince George

Prince George meeting completes premier’s tour of Kitimat, Terrace, Fort St. James and Quesnel

Indigenous LNG supporters chide human rights advocates over pipeline comments

Coastal GasLink has signed agreements with 20 elected First Nation councils along the pipeline’s 670-kilometre path

Skeena Voices | A family to keep

Summer Faulcon-Nneji is studying to become a nurse as she raises five kids and provides foster care

Expect delays between Terrace and Prince Rupert on Highway 16

Avalanche control work is planned between Legaic Rd and Frank St. for 136.8 km

VIDEO: Nickelback gears up for nostalgia tour

Canadian band joins Stone Temple Pilots for a summer tour that includes just one stop in Canada

Province asks health-care staff to be ‘vigilant’ in screening for possible coronavirus cases

This comes after U.S. health officials confirmed a case of the virus in Washington State

University of Victoria tells stories of Holocaust survivors with graphic novels

International storytelling initiative launched first meetings this winter

Boy, 13, arrested after alleged assault involving girl at B.C. middle school

Boy alleged to have used ‘inappropriate levels of force’ to injure the girl

B.C. player becomes only second Canadian to enter Hall of Fame of Baseball

Walker received 76.6 percent of the Baseball Writers of America Association vote

PHOTOS: Heavy snowfall breaks window, causing avalanche into B.C. newsroom office

It was a chaotic start to the week for the Kitimat Northern Sentinel

Canadian law firm launches class action on behalf of Iran flight victims

Flight 752 was shot down by Iran shortly after take off

Mission Hill cellarman fired after mistakenly dumping $162K of wine down the drain

The former employee filed a grievance with the West Kelowna winery but was unsuccesful

Most Read