KELOWNA, B.C.—Students are finally moving in to new student housing at the University of British Columbia Okanagan (UBCO).
The six-storey Skeena Residence project adds 220 beds to the campus.
Construction of Skeena Residence was completed in August 2020. Shortly after, the building achieved Passive House certification.
“The connection that on-campus living brings is a vital part of the student experience, and I was thrilled to visit Skeena Residence and see the students bring this building to life,” said Anne Kang, minister of advanced education and skills training, in a press release. “With guaranteed spaces for incoming Indigenous students, improved access to opportunities and better amenities, this project makes post-secondary education more accessible and affordable for Indigenous youth.”
The facility features lounges, informal study space, an activity room and laundry facilities. Named Skeena Residence, the building provides guaranteed housing for incoming Indigenous students.
“We are delighted to be able to provide new, high-quality housing that meets the needs of UBC Okanagan students,” said Lesley Cormack, deputy vice-chancellor and principal, UBCO. “The Okanagan housing market is increasingly challenging, so it is all the more important that we provide additional spaces on campus and offer priority access for Indigenous and first-year students. The incredibly high bar for sustainability set by the Skeena building allows the university to meet both its commitments to students on housing and to tackling the climate crisis, and I thank the Government of B.C. for helping to make this possible.”
Skeena Residence is one of two new student housing projects at UBCO. Funded by the university, Nechako Housing Commons was completed earlier this year and adds an additional 220 beds to the on-campus housing stock as well as a 450-seat resident dining room that Skeena residents can access. The buildings will boost the number of available beds on campus by 28 per cent.