UBC Okanagan expanding to downtown Kelowna

People and Places | Strategy 2: Inspiring Spaces
Theme: Collaboration
A concept drawing of how UBCO Downtown’s exterior could impact downtown Kelowna | Architectural rendering by HCMA and Olson Kundig.

After living on the outskirts of the city for more than 16 years, UBC Okanagan plans to open its doors in a new location immersed in the heart of the city. With nine faculties and schools, close to 12,000 students and 700 faculty members, UBC Okanagan has established itself as an innovative hub for research and learning dedicated to serving its community. Given the rapid growth of the campus since 2005 — which has now surpassed projected enrolment targets — the time is right to expand.

We’re coming to the centre of the community that created us.

Dr. Lesley Cormack, UBCO’s Principal and Deputy Vice-Chancellor

“With UBC Okanagan’s ongoing commitment to community-engaged research, it makes sense to open a collaborative, multi-use space in the heart of downtown Kelowna,” says Dr. Phil Barker, Vice-Principal, Research and Innovation. “The goal is to create opportunities for knowledge exchange, social innovation and creative expression and this new facility will help us explore that in interesting new ways.”

For UBC Okanagan students and faculty, having a presence downtown means those engaged in community-based academic work will be located in close proximity to partners, facilitating collaborations.

To accommodate these interactions, the university will occupy 100,000 square feet in a new building at St. Paul Street and Doyle Avenue. In addition to teaching and research, the building will offer leased office space and university rental housing, as well as a range of amenities.

UBC’s Okanagan campus juxtaposed against the downtown presence.

UBCO’s School of Nursing will have a presence downtown, as will the School of Social Work. The site will house an art gallery, hosted by the Faculty of Creative and Critical Creative Studies, that will support creative innovation and community engagement programming.In addition, the Social and Economic Change Laboratory will host a Public Engagement Suite, which will facilitate community discussions about shaping and impacting regional socio-economic development.

Please read the full story at the UBC Okanagan website.

Through Strategy 2: Inspiring Spaces, UBC is actively working to establish facilities and infrastructure that advance collaboration, creativity, and community development.