Student housing initiative announcement

By Public Affairs | March 5, 2021

Kelowna campus conceptual rendering
Kelowna campus student housing conceptual rendering

To the Okanagan College community,

Earlier today, B.C. Premier John Horgan, Vernon-Monashee MLA Harwinder Sandhu, and OC President Jim Hamilton – joined by Business Administration student Evan Smith – announced an important student housing initiative that will see 376 more beds added to the College’s housing stock.

The project involves buildings in Kelowna (216 beds), Vernon (100 beds) and Salmon Arm (60 beds) and will cost a total of $67.5 million, with the province contribution $36.3 million in grants, another $30.2 million in loans and OC providing $1 million.

Construction is expected to start in 2022.

This is the culmination of three years of project and proposal development and drew the support of many external organizations and individuals. It is the largest single capital commitment from the province that Okanagan College has enjoyed since 2005.

"This is one of those rare moments when you get to see a great idea realized, when a vision becomes a tangible project that will benefit our communities as an economic driver, help address housing issues in our region, support our goal of reducing our carbon footprint and – most importantly of all – increase access to post-secondary education," commented President Hamilton during the media event, which drew many stakeholders. "Over the past 16 years, Okanagan College has done much to expand that access in our region, with support from the provincial government and the communities we serve. We have seen significant growth in facilities and in programs at each of our four major campuses, and we have witnessed substantial growth in the number of people we serve with education and training – about 70 per cent since 2005."

These student housing projects bolster the existing 144-bed residence on Kelowna campus.

The Penticton campus has not been overlooked with regards to development of student housing. OC has been supportive of plans by Radec Group to develop student housing on the former Canwood Furniture property adjacent to the campus. The Radec project proposal is being considered by City of Penticton currently and construction may start this summer.

You can read the text of the Province's news release here

In case you missed it, you can watch the recorded livestream of the announcement.


Kelowna campus conceptual rendering










Vernon Campus conceptual rendering










Salmon Arm campus conceptual rendering











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