Kamloops council to review student housing project proposed at TRU's College Heights

TRU wants to build dorms

Thompson Rivers University is looking to construct a new dormitory, which would add nearly 150 much-needed beds for students if the project gets the OK from city hall.

A proposal for the four-storey, 80-unit student housing development will be presented for Kamloops city council on Tuesday afternoon.

According to a staff report prepared for council, the development will be built in TRU’s College Heights, which is located across Summit Drive from the university campus and already holds five student housing buildings.

The new dormitory is proposed for a vacant northwestern portion of the property, and would be the first of potentially three new buildings.

“The development provides crucially needed student housing,” the staff report said.

The report indicates 68 out of 80 units will have two beds per room, for a total of nearly 150 beds in the building. This would increase the number of student beds on the property to 639.

Each unit will have a kitchenette, with the proposed dormitory also including a large common kitchen on the first floor, a games and movie room on the second floor, and a quiet study room on the third floor.

The proposed dormitory includes 40 enclosed bike parking spaces and a reduced number of vehicle parking spaces, with only 38 spots for cars.

According to staff, this is based on the understanding that students are less likely to own a car than someone living in a typical multi-family development.

“The lower parking rate for the dormitory use is justified due to students being less likely to own a vehicle and having their institution and numerous amenities a short walking distance away,” the report said.

As a condition of allowing a reduced number of parking stalls, a housing agreement will be signed to ensure only TRU students will be allowed to live in the building.

As part of the development, the university will also construct a 3.6 metre-wide, multi-use pathway connecting Summit Drive with Dalgleish Drive.

“Dalgleish Drive is a low-traffic, shared route in which cyclists travel alongside vehicles. This will better serve pedestrians and cyclists by connecting the bike lanes at TRU with downtown Kamloops,” the report said.

The report said a signed statutory right-of-way will ensure members of the public can access the multi-use path.

A proposed multi-use path along Summit Drive — part of the proposed Summit Drive overpass project — is awaiting the results of a federal funding grant request put forward by the city.

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