Campus Life  

Gorman Bros. Lumber Ltd. donation carries a pine message about sustainability

Okanagan College Media Release

A donation of pine boards from Gorman Bros. Lumber to Okanagan College’s Centre of Excellence is driving home the messages of sustainability and stimulus.

A truck left Gorman’s in West Kelowna this morning carrying a donated shipment of tongue-and-groove pine boards to Penticton for the College’s Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technologies and Renewable Energy Conservation.

“This wood comes from beetle-infested forests in the Okanagan,” explained Ross Gorman, one of the founders of Gorman Bros. “It meets the specific requirements of the College’s ambitious efforts to create one of North America’s greenest buildings, and we’re proud to support that.”

“Our company and employees share a significant belief in sustainable forest practices,” says Gorman Sales Manager Cameron Cook. “Being able to put excellent value-added product into a Centre of Excellence is a terrific fit. Helping the College meet the Living Building Challenge is especially meaningful to all of us at Gorman’s.”

“This lumber carries a very positive message,” says Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton. “One of the valley’s best-known family firms is stepping up to support the Centre of Excellence at a time when we know things aren’t particularly rosy in the forest industry. This connection also points to how the local economy and local firms benefit from the investment being made in this building, in post-secondary education, and in sustainability. These are local resources being put to use, creating work for the area’s employees.”

When the federal and provincial governments announced funding for the $28-million Centre of Excellence in April 2009 under the Knowledge Infrastructure Program, it was as part of the joint stimulus plan intended to spur sputtering regional economies. It’s estimated the project – due to be complete in March 2011 -will create 180 jobs.

“Support from Gorman’s is very much appreciated,” says Jim Henderson, who heads the Okanagan College Foundation’s $5-million fundraising campaign for the Centre of Excellence. “Collectively, we’re showing the world that this is a project that can draw the entire region together to make it happen. We’re demonstrating that environmental and economic sustainability can go hand-in-hand to create long-term capacity for education and training.”

Ross Gorman was named an Honorary Fellow of Okanagan College in 2007 for the commitment he and Gorman Bros. have shown to the College through donations and scholarships and for the support demonstrated for the community.

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