Thompson Rivers University will be checking off another building from its long-term capital plan, as the university moves forward with a $22-million Indigenous Education Centre.
Construction of the new building was unanimously approved by the university’s board of governors at the board’s meeting on Friday.
TRU said construction is expected to begin in the spring. The building will be located at the former site of the Cariboo Child Care Society near the centre of the university's Kamloops campus.
The university said the design of the building is based on the Secwépemc structural design for meeting houses, and was designed by Stantec and Indigenous architect Patrick Stewart.
“This beautiful building will be welcoming to both Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities,” said Tina Matthew, executive director of the Office of Indigenous Education.
“We look forward to this space strengthening our collective community.”
TRU said the new building will provide space for Indigenous students, ceremonies, culture and scholarly work.
Matt Milovick, TRU’s vice-president of administration and finance, said “in a perfect world” the building would be complete by Sep. 2025.
“There’s actually an outdoor teaching space associated with the landscape design as well, which has sort of been on the books for the last six or seven years,” Milovick said.
The university said consultations were held with Indigenous faculty, staff and students, and consultation has been planned with Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc.
“TRU is committed to Truth and Reconciliation, and the Indigenous Education Centre will provide an inclusive and supportive environment for Indigenous learners, faculty and staff,” said TRU President Brett Fairbairn.
“To share the news on the day when TRU marks the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation makes it extra meaningful.”
The Indigenous Education Centre has been on the university’s long-term capital plan since 2018.