Students at UBC Okanagan started a campaign in 2014 to help fund more study space on campus. The university announced Friday the federal and provincial governments are chipping in to get the new building built, along with new sustainability upgrades for other buildings on campus.
After a referendum was held in 2014, students committed to paying $70 per year on top of their tuition fees for the building, raising almost $10 million over 10 years.
On Friday, the provincial and federal government committed to contributing an additional $25 million for the building.
“The library is the same size as it was when the campus had 3,500 students and now we're at 8,500, so they really needed more space,” said Deborah Buszard, UBC Okanagan deputy vice-chancellor. “It's been about two, two-and-a-half years in the making.”
According to students, the new study space is much needed.
“Just trying to find a study spot in our library is really hard currently,” said Blake Edwards, UBC Student Union Okanagan president.
In addition to the new building, the university and provincial and federal governments are contributing $5.65 million to upgrade the sustainability infrastructure of existing buildings on campus.
“We're talking about things like extending the geothermal ... and improving some of the other environmental components,” said Buszard.
The new building is expected to be completed by the middle of 2018.