UBC and the City of Kelowna have announced plans for a significant new university presence in downtown Kelowna, featuring a mixed-use development comprising community-facing academic and administrative space, and university rental housing.
UBC has long had an off-campus presence in Kelowna, through the Kelowna General Hospital Clinical Academic Campus, the Okanagan Innovation Centre, the Rotary Centre for the Arts, the Okanagan Regional Library downtown branch and through public events at the Kelowna Community Theatre. With this new initiative, UBC Okanagan Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal Deborah Buszard says that a downtown presence is the logical next step in the evolution of the campus.
“Since our creation in 2005, we have grown from 3,000 students to over 11,000 today and we expect our community to continue its development, reaching a population of over 20,000 by 2040,” said Buszard. “With this kind of expanded presence over the coming years, it only makes sense that we would create community-facing academic space in the heart of Kelowna, in close proximity to many of our community partners working in health, tech, business, and arts and culture.”
The university will work with faculty and staff, as well as partners such as the City of Kelowna, Indigenous communities and the public to determine exactly what the new space should look like and what needs it should serve.
This initiative is one example of how UBC is working to establish dedicated, accessible and inspiring spaces, as part of the Strategic Plan’s Strategy 2: Inspiring Spaces.
Read the full story at the UBC Okanagan News site.