New housing will support Douglas College students and relieve pressure on the rental market

Douglas College students will be able to live where they first learn in new student accommodation on the New Westminster campus.

The first on-campus housing at Douglas College will be a new 20-story building with 368 student beds, academic spaces and parking. This will be the largest provincial capital investment in a post-secondary institution that will benefit both students and local tenants.

“Douglas College students told us everything we needed to hear. They must have access to affordable housing so that they do not have to face the obstacle of long journeys and expensive rents,” said Anne Kang, Minister of Higher Education and Vocational Training. “I am incredibly excited about this project and this historic investment by our government. We will change lives, both at Douglas College and in New Westminster. In 16 years, the former government only built 130 student beds. Our government understands the importance of student housing and we are building 8,000 new student spaces by 2028. Including Douglas College, we are now over 85% of the way to achieving this goal.

Investing in student housing and university space makes post-secondary education more accessible and affordable for British Columbians and reduces pressure on the rental market in surrounding communities.

The $292.5 million project received $202.3 million in provincial funding, while Douglas College provided $90.2 million. Construction is expected to begin in the summer of 2023 and be completed in the summer of 2026.

“Students need a place to call home that’s affordable and gives them time and space to study,” said Jennifer Whiteside, MP for New Westminster. “We recognize how important access to housing is for young people and how integral it is to their post-secondary experience. I am proud that our government is striving to make such a positive difference that will directly benefit the lives of future students and their families. »

The new building will have 368 student beds in one-, two- and four-bed units, as well as academic spaces including new classrooms, student collaboration space, labs and offices, and catering services.

With the relocation of classrooms to the new university building, space will become available for other purposes, including a potential expansion of the college’s daycare center.

The building will be constructed using natural products, including stone and wood, in accordance with the province’s CleanBC plan.

Funding for new student housing is part of StrongerBC’s Future Ready plan. Future Ready makes education and training more accessible, affordable and relevant to help businesses grow and prepare British Columbians for the jobs of tomorrow.

Quotation:

Kathy Denton, President, Douglas College –

“The new building, 808 Royal, is the culmination of years of consultation and collaboration to develop a unique building that reflects the kind of supportive community that students expect from Douglas College. It will be a welcoming and accessible space that will inspire students to achieve their educational goals and become resilient global citizens.

Adel Gamar, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Douglas College –

“Douglas College understands the changing needs of our students. We continue to adapt by helping students meet the unique challenges of today and tomorrow. Student housing is a testament to exciting progress in supporting our campus community that will provide benefits for years to come.

Krystyn Llagas, student at Douglas College –

“On-campus housing is more than just a place to sleep and study. It’s a place where students like me can build a community. 808 Royal will help future Douglas College students feel even more connected and supported while balancing their busy studies, work and life.

Fast facts:

  • Douglas College serves over 25,000 domestic and international students each year.
  • Consolidation of Commerce and Business and Humanities and Social Sciences faculties will free up space to fill other critical campus space gaps and give students easy access to instructors and classmates in the new university district.
  • This project will create approximately 1,074 direct jobs and 890 indirect jobs.
  • The project will aim to achieve BC Energy Step Code 4 certification, LEED Gold BD+C certification and zero carbon certification.

A backgrounder follows.

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