Doors Open to Accessible Housing on Silver King Campus

March 21, 2024
Silver King Campus student housing opening ribbon cutting

Meeting the needs of students and the community, Selkirk College has added a housing option on Nelson’s Silver King Campus that will elevate opportunities for future learners. 

With the new-home smell still fresh, students started moving into the 36-bed housing facility in mid-March. An exciting addition to the 60-year-old campus, the housing option includes fully furnished rooms, modern study spaces, spacious common kitchens, student lounge, Indigenous gathering space and easy access to classes. 

“This government will continue to support all public post-secondary institutions across the province to provide access to affordable on-campus housing options,” says Lisa Beare, Minister of Post-Secondary Education & Future Skills. “Completing this project will give students a safe and affordable place to live, decrease local rental pressure, and is another big step to stay ahead of pace as we build 12,000 student beds throughout the province.”

Part of the Provincial Government’s Homes for People Action Plan, the Selkirk College project is a two-pronged housing solution that will also see 114 units opened on the Castlegar Campus later this year. First announced in October 2021, the $37.7 million project will increase the college’s on-campus housing by 71 per cent.

“Students can achieve their best when they have a safe and stable place to live, which is why affordable on-campus housing options are so vital,” says Brittny Anderson, MLA for Nelson-Creston. “With this investment, we are helping to set even more Selkirk College students up for success in their educational goals.”

Enhancing Student Life on Campus

Using a modular build process, the Silver King Campus student housing project broke ground in late-2022 under a design-build contract with Scott Builders and architectural work provided by Nelson-based Cover Architectural Collaborative. The three-storey building came together quickly last spring with pre-fabricated pods being trucked in from southern Alberta and stacked using massive cranes. Regional subtrades then went to work building the adjacent common spaces and the finishing details required to bring the housing to completion.

Silver King Campus student housing opening group photo
At the official opening of the Silver King Campus student housing facility on March 21, college employees and student representatives were joined by Nelson-Creston MLA Brittny Anderson, local government leaders, contractors and consultants.

“The approach to construction for this project helped ensure a quality facility was delivered in a timely manner,” says Kerry Clarke, Selkirk College’s Vice President of College Services & CFO. “This project not only provides affordable and accessible options for students, but it helps ease pressure in the regional housing market. It’s a welcome addition to a campus that is so important to student outcomes that help strengthen our region overall.”

The Silver King Campus opened in June 1964 as the BC Vocational School. Incorporated into Selkirk College in 1975, the campus has been the focal-point for the School of Industry & Trades Training, Academic Upgrading & Development, and Community Education & Workplace Training for decades. In 2016, the college broke ground on a multi-million dollar project that refreshed the aging campus with refurbished shop spaces and a beautiful new Student Commons Building.

Unlike the majority of Selkirk College programs that are focused on an academic calendar running from September to April, trades programs on the Silver King Campus are offered throughout the year with staggered intakes. Providing a student housing option that meets the needs of learners who choose this essential educational pathway will bolster overall access.

“Students and our communities require more than a vibrant program mix,” says Taya Whitehead, Vice President of Education & Students. “We need to be able to provide these types of housing options that are not only affordable, but add an important element of student life and access to college services. This is an exciting new chapter for the Silver King Campus, helping ensure that those who choose career-ready education are better served.”

An integral partner in regional post-secondary education, Columbia Basin Trust contributed $1.65 million to the overall project that is being used towards covered walkways and enhanced study spaces.

Learn more about Selkirk College student housing.

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