Nelson-Creston MLA Michelle Mungall speaks during Monday’s ceremony. The $23.2-million project includes a student commons building, a new carpentry building and renovations to two other buildings. Photo: Tyler Harper

VIDEO: Selkirk College unveils new Silver King campus

The $23-million renovation includes a new student building

Fifty-five years after it was first built, Selkirk College’s Silver King campus is finally moving into the future.

Students, instructors and politicians cut the ribbon on Silver King’s new student centre Monday in Nelson, marking the completion of a $23.2-million revitalization project to the site of Selkirk’s trades programs.

Selkirk College president Angus Graeme said it is a much-needed renovation to the campus, which was built in 1964 as the B.C. Vocational School and later merged with Selkirk in 1975.

“We would upgrade things as we went and change over labs and classrooms, but this is the first really significant investment in this campus,” said Graeme.

“What it means is if a student in youth in trades in high school or someone who’s wanting to retrain or a mature learner comes onto this campus now and looks around, they say, ‘OK, so this would be a great place to study.’ Before it was a little bit industrial.”

Industrial is a polite way of describing a campus in need of a new look.

The nearly three-year project adds a modern student centre that features a large cafeteria, library, offices, study rooms and an Indigenous gathering space for the nearly 500 students enrolled in trades programs at Silver King.

Previously, lunch hours at the campus required a trip to what was known by students and staff as The Bunker, a cafeteria in the basement of one of the buildings.

“It was just not conducive to getting students to sit down, relax, talk about what they’re studying, exchange ideals between the trades areas they are focusing on,” said Graeme before gesturing around the new student building. “This is just a much more open, magical space where you can come, sit and have your lunch and make friends talk about what you learned.”

The campus also now features a new carpentry building with a covered outdoor work area, two renovated trades buildings and equipment updates.

The renovation was funded $13.63 million from the provincial government, $5.84 million from the federal government, $2 million from Selkirk College and the remaining $1.7 million from industry partners and donations.

B.C. Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training Melanie Mark was in Nelson for the opening of the new campus. She said the province’s 2018 B.C. Labour Market Outlook projects to 71,000 job opportunities in trades in the next 10 years.

“Our economy, our communities, everything in our province relies on the trades,” said Mark. “You can’t have the lights on without electricians, you can’t have the framing of a building without carpenters. It’s absolutely essential that we need people in the trades and we need to do more around awareness so that people understand the opportunities.”

Graeme said the next step for Selkirk is to expand student housing to accommodate for the new facility in a city with a zero per cent vacancy rate.

In March, the college pitched the provincial government on a $25-million housing project that would build a 40-bed unit at the Silver King campus and a 110-bed unit at Castlegar’s campus.

“We now have pretty solid multi-year data that students are choosing to come here, but having to defer because they can’t find a place. That’s not a good place for us to be,” said Graeme.

“We do have those proposals in front of government right now and they’ve seen them and now we’re in the hopper along with the other 24 public post-secondaries in the province.”

Related: Kootenay Columbia grad receives scholarship for women in trades



tyler.harper@nelsonstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

About 500 students are currently enrolled in trades programs at Silver King campus. Photo: Tyler Harper

The ribbon is cut Monday on the new student commons building at Silver King campus in Nelson. Photo: Tyler Harper

Just Posted

Latest round of Columbia River Treaty talks wrap up in Cranbrook

Federal, provincial, U.S. and Indigenous representatives recently met for eight round of discussions

First Nations given max compensation for Ottawa’s child-welfare discrimination

2016 ruling said feds didn’t give same funding for on-reserve kids as was given to off-reserve kids

Come run for Terry this Sunday

Terry Fox Run in Invermere raises funds for cancer research

Council rejects water bottling plant in current spot

Cites possibility to having facility built at another location in the village

Climate change website launched by Selkirk College and Columbia Basin Trust

The site features climate information for communities in the Columbia Basin and boundary region

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

Conservatives promise tax cut that they say will address Liberal increases

Scheer says the cut would apply to the lowest income bracket

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Coming Home: B.C. fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

Newcomer Ferland lines up with sniper Pettersson as Vancouver Canucks camp opens

Ferland provides more depth and a scoring threat up front, Pettersson says

Intelligence official charged seemed to be ‘exemplar of discretion’: UBC professor

Professor Paul Evans says he served on Cameron Ortis’s doctoral dissertation committee

Most Read