Campus Life  

Okanagan College Students’ Union shows support for the Centre of Excellence

Okanagan College Media Release

The Okanagan College Students’ Union is demonstrating its support for the environment, for leadership in education and for enhanced learning spaces and opportunities, with a $36,997.10 donation to the fundraising campaign for the Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technologies and Renewable Energy Conservation.

“Looking back to when this building was first announced, I remember thinking of the incredible impact it would have for students on this campus as well as residents in the South Okanagan-Similkameen,” observed Cory Nelmes, Financial Co-ordinator for the OCSU. “From the very first days of the design process Okanagan College has committed to making this building truly a Centre of Excellence. As students and as an organization, we’re pleased to have been involved in the process that led to its development and are eagerly awaiting the doors opening on its shops, classrooms, and student spaces.”

“It will make a difference in where we learn, how we learn and what we learn.”

“We don’t have a great deal of money, but careful stewardship of funds over the years by ourselves and our predecessors left us with an opportunity to make a contribution to the fundraising campaign. We have already seen many groups and individuals step forward to contribute to this building and we are appreciative. We hope that our donation will inspire others to contribute to the $5 million campaign as well. As students we see the tremendous investment in our future that this building represents.”

The Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technologies and Renewable Energy Conservation will be one of the most environmentally responsible public buildings in North America when it is complete later this spring. Okanagan College, CEI Architecture and PCL Constructors Westcoast Inc. and many other companies and organizations have been co-operating to build the $28-million project to allow it to meet the Living Building Challenge. That challenge incorporates some of the most demanding environmental building standards that focus not just on construction, but also on building operation.

“We involved our students from the start of the design process,” notes Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton. “They’ve been supportive and understand what the building means in terms of improvements to the campus and in terms of educational opportunities in the region.”

When it opens, the building will create space for approximately 500 more students at the South Okanagan-Similkameen campus in Penticton.

“Having the students choose to support our fundraising efforts is a vital signal to the rest of the region,” says Jim Henderson, President of the Okanagan College Foundation and Chair of the Campaign Committee.

“At a point when we are broadening our appeal to the larger community, it is a great show of support from the people that this project will affect the most: our students. We appreciate their commitment.”

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