New College Centre will Create Jobs, Increase Housing Demand

Posted by on Thursday, March 23rd, 2017 at 5:30pm.

  

Okanagan College in Kelowna is going to get a new Health Sciences Centre and with it, new faculty, more staff and students who will need housing.

This new addition was announced in mid-March by Steve Thomson, MLA for Kelowna-Mission who said that province is partially funding the new building which is estimated to cost $18.9 million.

Thomas told media in Kelowna that the B.C. government has granted funding for a variety of new infrastructure projects at several post-secondary institutions in the Okanagan region.  There is a growing demand throughout the province for skilled workers in the health science sector and more students need to train for specialized careers in the industry.

The new centre will offer 30,000 square feet of space which will be used for practical nursing education, training for pharmacy technicians, early childhood education and human service workers.

The president of Okanagan College said the facility has been on the priority list for the institution. Jim Hamilton said there are thousands of students waiting for an opportunity such as this to gain new skills to advance their careers in health sciences.  He said through the college, students will go on to be an important part of BC.’s work force.

The $18. 9 million centre will be partially funded by the province. It’s kicking in $15.4 million while the college will invest a further $3.5 million towards construction.  The Health Sciences Centre should be ready to go in 2020.

With more than three years before the new Centre will be ready for new students, staff and faculty there will be time for Kelowna’s housing market to catch up.  While the Centre will certainly create jobs for local residents, new faculty will no doubt be recruited from other areas of the country.  New multi-family starts will soon be available which the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board says will ease the city’s housing crunch.

After last year’s boiling hot market, sales have eased off slightly and more inventory will hopefully come on line.

There were 30% fewer properties on the market in 2016 than there were in 2015 which, if the current demand continues in Kelowna and the Okanagan there’s going to be some pretty stiff competition in the months to come and home sellers may enjoy multiple offers and homes selling for over list.

About Okanagan College

The college is located in the South Pandosy area on K.L.O. Road, south of Highway 97 and downtown Kelowna.  It offers a large variety of university studies as well as trades, technology, business, vocational health and adult-education programs. There are nearly 6,000 students taking first and second-year university transfer courses. Okanagan College also offers two bachelor degree programs and several associate degree programs.

There is a business school at Okanagan College offering certificate, diploma and degree programs. There is a popular Bachelor of Computer Information Systems program.  The continuing education program offers first-aid, safety training and certificate programs for specializations that are in demand by local industries.

The Kelowna campus of Okanagan College has been experiencing a large International student population and runs a comprehensive summer school program for students who want to upgrade or get a jump on program requirements coming up in the fall.

There’s a big recreational and social component to college life as well.  Students enjoy a fully-equipped Fitness Centre, an outdoor fitness centre and the beautiful on-campus walking pathways.  

Students right out of high school looking to get training for their first career, or mature learners looking to gain skills for a second or third career or students wanting a university degree are part of the student body at Okanagan College  

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