Centre for Learning


Ground Breaking
Environmental Management
Check it out!


The Centre for Learning is a LEED Gold-Certified building that opened its doors in September 2009. The 70,000 square foot building is located in the heart of the KLO Road campus and demonstrate the College’s commitment to be a student focused and learner centered institution. The construction project expanded the existing library building and linked it with a five storey building through an atrium space into one larger Centre for Learning. The Centre for Learning includes:

Learning Centre
International Education
Centre for Dialogue
Educational Technology Centre
Twenty-four innovative classrooms that support 685 instructional seats
Student dedicated learning and meeting rooms
Office spaces for 115 faculty and staff
Information technology and print services
Fezziwig's Cafe

The new facility helped the College address student’s needs for additional classrooms, study space, library space, peer tutoring and assessment space, food services, informal gathering spaces, and access to technology support and training. It truly is an innovative centre designed with students' learning needs in mind.

The College is committed to making the Centre a building that demonstrates and practices the best environmental practices and reflects the valley’s architecture and history.


The Centre for Learning—a Vision of Learning


The Centre for Learning will be a learning building.


This new building will provide learners innovative learning spaces to meet the college’s vision of a vibrant campus life that supports an excellent education for local, national and international students. The Centre will promote free exchange of ideas and the development and application of critical thinking skills. Our goal is to develop global citizenship in our community of informed learners. Students and visitors can learn about its mechanical systems, about how it breathes, about how it impacts other systems, about the environment and history around it. The design of the building will reflect our valley’s natural surroundings as well as our history and origin. All of the space in the building will support learning taking place inside and outside of the classroom.

Why call the building the Centre for Learning:

  1. The name can be identified by and embraced by all staff, students and our community.
  2. The name evokes our commitment to learning but does not take away the fact that this building will be flexible and multi-purpose.


This multipurpose building is flexible in nature and includes the following inventory of spaces that are shared by the multi-campus college community.

  • Creation of one comprehensive and integrated learning centre that has the library as the heart of the building
  • Circular classroom
  • Open classrooms and open meeting spaces
  • Classrooms that can be used by all programs at the college.
  • Innovative classrooms of various sizes that creatively use furnishing and technology to provide an optimal learning environment
  • Educational Technology Centre to assist students and staff in their learning
  • Learning centre for learning support services
  • Numerous team and problem based learning spaces for students
  • Global Centre for Learning to provide the catalyst for the internationalization of the College.
  • Innovative informal learning spaces that are strategically located throughout the building.
  • Office space for faculty and staff

Learners can discover through the building's intelligent features some of the history of our site and the history and geography of our rich Okanagan Valley.

Our vision is that this building will not only be iconic in scale and design, but also exemplary in incorporating a learning agenda that will not only inform OC learners on site but will inspire visits from school children and community groups.

Ground Breaking

Work began on the site preparation for the Centre for Learning site in the summer of 2006. Geotechnical reports were completed and the site was preloaded to ensure that a five storey building could be accommodated on this site. The preloading was required because the land being used is a former landfill site.

The preload remained on the site though out the fall and winter of 2007 and was removed in the summer of 2007 in preparation for the construction of the facility.

Blessing Ceremony

Took place in the afternoon of October 12th at the new building site for the Centre for Learning.  A traditional smudging ceremony was performed by a First Nations family who blessed the land, the new building, the staff and the workers.

Launch & Open House

November 16, 2009

Pictures of the event

Video of the event

Environmental Management

The goal of the Centre for Learning is to be living, breathing building that showcases the best sustainability practices and environmental stewardship possible by the College.

Design Highlights

  • As part of the Canada Green Building Council, the Integrated Design Process (IDP) was used in the design of the Centre for Learning. IDP is a design method intended to produce buildings with significant reductions in energy demand and water use, while providing improved indoor environments and healthier building sites.
  • These projects use LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) principles. LEED has higher performance standards in environmental responsibility and energy efficiency. The project is targeted for LEED’s Gold certification.
  • A portion of the building’s electrical energy will be supplied by renewable resources.
  • The building’s heating and ventilation system will be supported through the College’s geothermal system that uses the waste heat from the adjacent Sewage Treatment Plan.
  • The College will utilize environmentally friendly and non-toxic cleaning chemicals, continuing Okanagan College’s practice of green housekeeping.

Energy & Resource Consumption

  • Energy, Electrical, Acoustical and Mechanical Engineers were an integral part of the Building Development Team to ensure that energy and resource management was maximized
  • Energy performance of the building is targeting a performance of better than 30% of the ASHRAE 90.1 standard
  • Building orientation and landscaping were developed to optimize energy performance of the building
  • The building was designed to be five storeys to minimize the footprint of the building on the campus and maximize remaining green space
  • The building is on a site that had been used as a landfill
  • Extensive building system commissioning ensures electrical and mechanical systems are installed and calibrated for optimal performance

Environmental Loadings

  • Waste management plan implemented to recycle/salvage 75% of construction waste
  • Central recycling area with easy access to the building loading dock
  • Low-flow toilets, waterless urinals, and sensor-controlled faucets account for a water use reduction of approximately 30% over baseline conditions

Indoor Environmental Quality

  • Materials with low embodied energy, off gassing of toxins and VOC levels are used throughout the building
  • Natural ventilation supplied by operable windows and the use of the skylight as a central air chimney.
  • Building will continue Okanagan College’s practice of 'green’ housekeeping, adopting a program that utilizes environmentally friendly and non-toxic cleaning chemicals
  • Strategic location of glazing to maximize daylight and views for all occupants


What is the Centre for Learning?
The Centre for Learning is an innovative centre that combines into one building several key learning spaces and provides students at Okanagan College with a rich environment where learning can take place inside and outside of the classroom and in traditional and non-traditional settings.

How big is it?
In total the Centre for Learning is the largest building on the KLO campus at 70,000 square feet.

When was it completed?
The building opened in September 2009.

How many classrooms does it have?
22 and have space for 685 instructional seats

What is the Centre for Dialogue?
Located in the heart of the building is a circular classroom that has the appearance of floating above the atrium. This intimate classroom is a complete circle so discussion, debate and learning can take place in a truly unique environment.

What will students find in the Centre for Learning?
Learning Centre
International Education
Okanagan School of Business Adminstration Offices
Centre for Dialogue
Educational Technology Centre
Twenty-four innovative classrooms that support 685 instructional seats
Student dedicated learning and meeting rooms
Office spaces for 115 faculty and staff
Information technology and print services
Fezziwig's Cafe
Informal gathering and learning places

How much did it cost?
The budget for the building was $28 million.

Who were the architects?
The College worked with Bunting and Coady (www.buntingcoady.com) and MQN Architects (www.mqnarchitects.com ) on the construction of this building.

See the progress that was made throughout construction in the Construction Photos.