Health Sciences Centre

Exterior photo of the Health Sciences Centre
Exterior of the Health Sciences Centre at the Kelowna campus. Photo credit: GEC Architecture

Students have more opportunities to train for in-demand health-care jobs

The Health Sciences Centre opened at the Kelowna campus in September 2021, the 2,822-square-metre (30,375-square- foot) facility includes student-centred labs, classrooms and office space for a wide array of health and social development programs. The cutting-edge learning environments have been equipped with the latest education technology and designed to reflect spaces students will encounter in industry. The building will support a total of 591 students in programs that train students for in-demand jobs such as certified dental assistant, health-care assistant, pharmacy technician and more. 


The $19.4-million budget came from: $15.4 million from the Province of B.C., and $4 million was funded through donations to Okanagan College. The OC Foundation’s campaign goal was $5 million – including $1.5 million toward student and program support.

The building is aligned with the Province's CleanBC goals for energy-efficient buildings, it’s one of 16 projects in the Canada Green Building Council's (CaGBC) Zero Carbon Pilot Program, the results of which will help CaGBC refine the Zero Carbon Building Standard. The CaGBC is a not-for-profit founded in 2002 that works to advance green building and sustainable community development practices in Canada. 

Building features 

  • Prominent use of cross-laminated timber (CLT) in the ceiling, visible from all floors thanks to an open-air atrium design, is a primary design feature of the building.   
  • Materials were sourced from Structurlam in Penticton and reflect a local, sustainable and aesthetically pleasing feature. 
  • The HSC builds on Okanagan College’s record of developing award-winning facilities that champion sustainability and green building practices.   
  • The HSC was designed and built to meet the requirements of:   
    • ZERO CARBON. Building Standard - Okanagan College is one of 16 organizations nationwide participating in a pilot program that focuses on design and construction standards meant to reduce a structure’s carbon footprint.   
    • WELL Building Standard. The HSC will pursue a minimum of WELL Silver certification – a standard that is focused on advancing occupant health and wellbeing in buildings. It is based on 10 concepts that each comes with its own features and measures: Air, Water, Nourishment, Light, Movement, Thermal Comfort, Sound, Materials, Mind and Community.   
    • LEED GOLD. Beginning with the Centre for Learning, Okanagan College has built each of its new structures since 2005 with a minimum goal of meeting Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) Gold standard. The rating system focuses on water and energy efficiency as well as indoor air quality. 

Four Food Chiefs sculpture 

Clint George, Wapupxn, SnPink’tn - Penticton Indian Band.
A renowned and award-winning local artist. His sculptures are prominently displayed, many of them outdoors, large scale, across the region, and they’re also on display and in private collections around the world.

The sculptural image of the Four Food Chiefs is conveyed through artist, Clint George’s eyes. This story is for everybody, and Clint encourages you to reflect on what this story means to you.  

View Four Food Chiefs sculpture

Published By College Relations on November 8, 2021

Centre highlights 

  • The facility will provide technology-enhanced and student-centred labs, classrooms and office space for an array of health and social development programs. 
  • The College conducted stakeholder and user group meetings involving our internal and external communities, including Interior Health and First Nations in the region.    
  • Okanagan College’s Indigenization Task Force was consulted to support in the design and outfit of the building to meaningfully and intentionally integrate Indigenous ways of knowing and doing throughout the project, from start to finish.  
  • Building design elements:  
    • Exterior features structurally inclusive design inspired by Indigenous weaving  
    • “Four Food Chiefs” sculpture by Clint George, Wapupxn, Penticton Indian Band artist
    • Interior features structurally inclusive design with wood ceiling inspired by Indigenous weaving