College expansion supported

Board of Governors: Vote moves downtown campus plan forward.

  • Oct. 3, 2012 5:00 a.m.

Bill Laird

The proposal to relocate Okanagan College’s Salmon Arm campus downtown received a boost last week.

In response to a presentation from Bill Laird, chair of the  Downtown Community Campus Committee, the Okanagan College Board of Governors voted unanimously Sept. 25 to proceed with plans to acquire a site downtown.

The proposal details a mixed-use development with an expanded college as the anchor. Other planned infrastructure includes student housing, student retail options and complementary community infrastructure.

“For many years the community has been planning for the development of a downtown community campus and this new level of support received from the board of governors is a major step forward,” Laird states in a news release.

Commending the community for its tenacity in its steps to date, Lance Kayfish, Okanagan Board of Governors chair, affirmed the college’s resolve to embrace the opportunity to partner with the community and grow the economy in the Shuswap region.

“It is really heartening to see such strong support for the idea of enhancing the whole community through the power of education,” Kayfish stated.

While in Salmon Arm, the board of governors visited the former JL Jackson school site that has been designated as surplus property for disposal by the school district. The committee has identified the site as a prime location for the downtown campus development due to its proximity to existing residential, commercial and recreation areas, as well its potential to accommodate long-term growth.

“We are excited and enthused by the college’s commitment to work together with the Salmon Arm Economic Development Society and DCC committee on the acquisition of suitable land, and the effort the college will be making to incorporate the downtown community campus concept into their education and capital planning processes,” stated Laird.

Mayor Nancy Cooper added her approval.

“The City of Salmon Arm is also delighted to participate with Okanagan College in the development of a state-of-the-art post secondary institution located in our city centre. This unique partnership will accomplish a number of the city’s strategic goals and will be a catalyst for economic development, supporting all sectors of our economy.”

Jim Barmby, dean of Okanagan College, Shuswap-Revelstoke division, is also pleased with the step forward for the campus.

“I’m quite thrilled that the board has decided to incorporate this concept in the college’s planning process… It’s one step closer to reality,” he told the Observer.

Jim Hamilton, president of Okanagan College, noted that the college will be working collaboratively with the city, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District, the Salmon Arm Economic Development Society and the committee to continue its mission of “transforming lives and communities.”

Just Posted

Province announces $18.6 million for B.C. Search and Rescue

The funding, spread over three years, to pay for operations, equipment, and training

Update: Highway 3 reopened following rockslide near Keremeos

The slide occurred Friday March 22, at about 8 p.m. between Red Bridge and Standing Rock

Active burn pile prompts firefighter response in Salmon Arm

Reports of residential fire, thick smoke was from burning construction material

Rock slide forces rural Keremeos residents to leave their homes

Witness describes boulders bigger than her car

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: goodbye sun, hello rain

Environement Canada forcasts clouds and rain for the weekend and beyond

Stolen Bentley spotted going wrong way down highway found in Summerland

The car has been recorded going the wrong way on the Coquihalla, found two days later

Okanagan woman launches sewing studio

“I know there’s a lot of people up and down the valley that would love to sew.”

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

Former Okanagan teen found safe after disappearing from YVR airport

Ethan Burnett, 14, was found safe in Kelowna on March 22

B.C. university to offer first graduate program on mindfulness in Canada

University of the Fraser Valley says the mostly-online program focuses on self-care and well being

Vernon road closed again following landslide

The road that was reopened Thursday morning was closed again Friday following geotechnical engineer report.

Late-season wave of the flu makes its round in B.C.

BC Centre for Disease Control reported 50 per cent jump in flu cases in first weeks of March

Tofino’s housing crisis causing some to seek shelter at the local hospital

Tofino’s housing crisis is pushing the town’s ‘hidden homeless’ population into the forefront.

Sentencing judge in Broncos crash calls for carnage on highways to end

Judge Inez Cardinal sentenced Jaskirat Singh Sidhu to eight years

Most Read