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

PROFILE: Stetski running for NDP in Kootenay-Columbia

Regional NDP candidate was first elected to federal office four years ago

Fernie kids triathlon 2019 a great success

James Snell - reporter@thefreepress.ca The ninth annual Fernie Kids Triathlon was a… Continue reading

City commissions another fire hall roof study

Fernie City Council has authorized staff to reallocate the existing budget from… Continue reading

Pride Festival just around the corner

The Fernie and Elk Valley Pride Festival is just around the corner,… Continue reading

Kootenay Learning Campus opens in Fernie

School District 5 celebrated the grand opening and ribbon cutting of the… Continue reading

VIDEO: ‘Thrones,’ ‘Fleabag’ top Emmys

Billy Porter makes history as first openly gay black man to win best drama-series acting Emmy

Avalanche workshop coming soon to Fernie

Submitted, EVSAW Fernie will play host to the second annual CIL Explosives… Continue reading

“Killer of neighbourhoods” petition circulates

James Snell - reporter@thefreepress.ca Several residents on 4th Avenue are circulating a… Continue reading

‘This is savage’: Strip club owner suspects arson in Williams Lake fire

Investigators on scene to determine cause of fire that destroyed at least two businesses

B.C. VIEWS: School officials join fact-free ‘climate strike’

Students, public get distorted picture of greenhouse gases

Judge rules cops did not coerce statement from B.C. man accused of assaulting sex worker

Defence wanted Vernon’s Curtis Sagmoen’s video interview with police deemed inadmissible

GRAPHIC: Tortured cat found with string around its neck in Kelowna alleyway

City crews have been contacted and are on the way to pick up the dead feline.

Firefighters may be needed for paramedic apartment access, experts say

Better coordination recommended in urban B.C. 9-1-1 calls

Fernie Fire Department celebrates FireSmart education

“The greatest safety is a neighbourhood that is FireSmart,” said Alan Westhaver.

Most Read