Construction of new dormitories at Coast Mountain College in Terrace has begun

Hillary Johnson
09/02/2020

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Construction of two new three-storey dormitories at Coast Mountain College in Terrace has begun! Last fall, Advanced Education Minister Melanie Mark announced a provincial contribution of 18.7-million dollars toward the construction, with the college contributing the remaining one million. This project will replace four obsolete buildings on campus and create a total of 108 new beds. Executive Director of Communications Sarah Zimmerman explained that some of the buildings' amenities would have COVID restrictions in place if the pandemic persists.

"There will be clusters of rooms, what we call quads, or triples, so there might be three rooms that share a common space. When we were talking about the design of the building, we consulted our first nation's council, and we really wanted to balance functionality with the importance of community. So we did purposely create spaces where people could gather in small groups."

Zimmerman says the building offers unique indigenous services not previously available at the dorms.

"We are very excited to offer a proper suit to elders who can be here to support students. There will be a couple of other rooms that would allow students that have a family have come out of town to come to visit, obviously COVID permitting."

The estimated completion date of the project is in the fall of next year. However, she said they are developing pandemic safety plans and protocols if needed.

"Housing is a bit tricky in the time of COVID, but we are certainly taking that into consideration, and with the construction yet to start, we have looked at doing some modifications that could help with things like having a handwashing station right next to water fountains so that we can still use the water fountain but in a safe way. The configuration of furniture would be done in a way to promote social distancing. Since we have several areas where people can congregate, we are hopeful those areas could be safe spaces with the limits on the number of people."

Zimmerman stated that house poles would be displayed in the building's atrium, with each pole representing the different nations they serve, creating a very inclusive place. She mentioned that the artwork would be commissioned with local aboriginal artists.

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