Okanagan College is hoping to land provincial funding to build student residences at its Vernon, Kelowna and Salmon Arm campuses.
Allan Coyle from the college says given the low vacancy rates in the communities, there’s a need for additional residences, adding the units would be built on land currently owned by the college.
“The province has announced 450 million dollars in loans or grants for student residences, and since 2016, we’ve had student residences on our master capital plan, so we’re taking the opportunity to put forward proposals for residences on three of our campuses at this point,” Coyle told Beach Radio News.
Coyle says Vernon would have 100 living units, with 400 proposed for Kelowna, and 60 for Salmon Arm.
“We hope to get the proposals in by mid October, and then we’ll see how the province works on those.”
Coyle says the residences could be for out of town, or international students.
“We’re hoping to garner support from municipalities and other organizations.”
Coldstream Council’s Committee of the Whole has agreed to recommend council supply a letter of support for O-C’s grant application.
Mayor Jim Garlick says the plan makes sense.
“It gives all people the opportunity to remain in their community, or for others to come here, and get educated on different things, or develop skills,” says Garlick.
Garlick says the proposal for the local campus would have little impact on the neighbourhood.
“They are looking at a piece of property that is theirs that would be off of Varsity on Kal View, but they wouldn’t be entering it off of Varsity. It would be entered through their regular parking area, their regular entrance,” says Garlick.