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Selkirk College Formalizes Plan for the Campus Vision

Bob Hall
By Bob Hall
November 2nd, 2020

Future capital planning at Selkirk College is focused on offering a range of amenities, services and experiences that contribute to a vibrant post-secondary learning environment.

Presented at the Selkirk College Board of Governor’s October meeting, the Campus Master Plan 2020-2035 is a detailed document that sets out a roadmap for the institution’s short and long-term outcomes. The 75-page plan is a framework for creating a lively community and preparing for future growth at all locations throughout the West Kootenay and Boundary regions.

“This is part of our ongoing formal planning that is required as a public post-secondary, but it is so much more than that,” says Vice President of College Services Kerry Clarke. “Going through the process of preparing this document, we gathered input from students, staff and the community that helped shape the final outcome. This is about facilities and infrastructure, but ultimately it’s about creating spaces that inspire and help contribute to student success.”

Working with consultant Sahuri+Partners Architecture, the development of the final master plan took 18 months and resulted in a comprehensive study of the college’s current assets and what is required moving forward. Stating that a campus is more than a collection of teaching facilities, it presents the idea that Selkirk College is a network of people, ideas, activities and information that are the drivers of change. The document lays out a vision for a compact, animated, active and sustainable campus community.

The Campus Master Plan 2020-2035, pays special attention to actions that can be taken in the next five years at its facilities in Castlegar, Nelson, Trail, Grand Forks, Kaslo and Nakusp. Recognizing that all locations have unique features and specific needs, the plan stresses that the college continue to ensure that there is a common spirit amongst all sites that places emphasis on the student.

The action items in the plan range from smaller projects such as welcoming spaces, sustainable landscaping, enhanced transportation and improvements to technology in the classroom to major capital projects that will revitalize some of the college’s aging facilities.

“The rapid change that exists in today’s learning environment requires Selkirk College to be nimble when it comes to program offerings and the infrastructure that we have to get learners to their ultimate outcome,” says Selkirk College President Angus Graeme. “We recognize that the post-secondary experience evolves over time and this plan is flexible enough to ensure that we stay current to the needs of both the learner and the community. This plan represents a vision of our physical footprint that will guide us into the years ahead. ”

With a major $23 million project recently completed at Nelson’s trades-based Silver King Campus, the focus on significant capital planning has shifted to the Castlegar Campus. In order to provide enhanced programming and student life opportunities, the original Selkirk College campus that first opened in 1966, requires both renovations and new construction to meet future expectations.

Immediate needs such as additional student housing spaces in both Castlegar and Nelson factor significantly into the college’s ability to move forward with growth in enrolment. The master plan also addresses the college’s current goal to purchase the downtown Trail building that houses its programs and other community amenities. The college leases its Tenth Street Campus from the City of Nelson, but future planning for that location is also considered a priority. 

“This plan provides a thoughtful framework and inspiring vision to guide the long-term development of our campuses,” says Selkirk College Board of Governors Chair Scott Weatherford. “A plan like this will ensure that our future capital investments evolve Selkirk College’s learning, living and working spaces to support achievement of the strategic results that our taxpayers, staff and graduates expect.”

You can find out more and read the entire Campus Master Plan 2020-2035 at:

First opened in 1961 as the BC Vocational School, Nelson’s Silver King Campus has been part of Selkirk College since the early-1970s. The college’s new Campus Master Plan 2020-2035 provides a focus on what is required to enhance both programming and the student life experience. — Submitted

First opened in 1966 as the original Selkirk College facility in 1966, the Castlegar Campus has seen small capital improvements over the last 54 years. One element of the new Campus Master Plan 2020-2035 provides a focus on what is required to enhance both programming and the student life experience. — Submitted

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