The first steps are being taken to construct a new 96-bed student housing facility at the College of the Rockies, as the project is estimated at $22.5 million.
The B.C. Government is investing $16.4 million into the student housing facility while an additional $1 million is being contributed by the Columbia Basin Trust, with the College of the Rockies taking on the remaining $5.1 million.
Work is underway to construct an access road to the facility, as well as installing underground servicing. It’s anticipated that building’s construction will begin in November. The new access road will extend from College Way to the east and to the north of the building site, providing access to the new student housing.
The 96-bed student housing facility will consist of five three-story cottage-style five-plex buildings. All of the housing will be located on the east end of the College of the Rockies, nearby the current Purcell House student housing building.
Construction of the housing is forcing the relocation of the existing entrance structure to the Cranbrook Community Forest, as well as some changes to the trails that run through College of the Rockies’ property.
“We expect the impact on Community Forest users to be minimal,” said Allan Knibbs, College of the Rockies Director of Facilities. “The existing trails located on College property will be relocated to ensure access to the Forest remains, and protective fencing will be erected around the construction zone to ensure the safety of those recreating in the area.”
The College of the Rockies said they have been working closely alongside the Cranbrook Community Forest Society and the Wildhorse Cycling Club to oversee the relocation of the entrance structure and re-creation of the affected trails. As well, some trees will have to be removed during construction of the student housing.
“Though significant thinning was done on College property a few years back to manage wildfire risk, some additional trees will be removed for construction,” confirmed Knibbs. “These buildings will be situated amongst the trees and we are committed to keep the forested area as intact as possible.”
Construction is anticipated to be fully complete by next year so students can begin to live in the housing in September 2020, while full occupancy by January 2021.