Names unveiled for new student housing at College of the Rockies

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More than twice the number of students at the College of the Rockies now call campus home with the addition of 100 new student beds at the Cranbrook campus.

“Living on campus enriches the student experience, and this new student housing at College of the Rockies means 100 more students are benefiting from meaningful connections with their peers,” said Anne Kang, Minister for Advanced Education and Skills Training. “This means students can focus on their studies and life on campus, and it helps take pressure off the rental market for the rest of the community.”

Opened in winter 2021, the student housing includes five cottage-style buildings with an outdoor classroom and social space. The housing expansion increases the amount of student beds from 96 to 196 at the College’s Cranbrook campus. This includes four fully accessible units (16 beds) for students with mobility challenges. New pedestrian pathways and 40 new parking stalls were built to meet students’ needs.

“These new student housing buildings provide a beautiful and much-needed home away from home for College of the Rockies students,” said Paul Vogt, president and CEO, College of the Rockies. “They, along with our Purcell House building, are fully subscribed for the fall semester, demonstrating how great the need was for additional housing options. Not only do learners benefit from living near their classes and college services, but our campus is enhanced by the vibrancy and sense of community that comes from having an additional 100 students living on site.”

The five new buildings are collectively referred to as ʔa·kikⱡuʔnam that translates to “village” in the Ktunaxa language. The individual buildings are named: ?akisqnuk (Columbia Lake), Yaq̓it ʔa·knuqⱡiʔit (Tobacco Plains), ʔaq̓am (St. Mary’s), Yaqan Nuʔkiy (Lower Kootenay) and Kyaknuqli?it/Kenpesq’t (Kinbasket Shuswap).

The energy-efficient project is consistent with elements of the CleanBC plan to design more sustainable, energy-efficient buildings. The buildings achieved Step 5 of the BC Energy Step Code and met the design and construction standards to earn Passive House International (Low Energy Building) Certification. The village includes barrier-free, first-floor units and rental rates that are 30% to 40% below current rates in the Cranbrook rental market. This undertaking is the first multi-dwelling complex Passive House project in Canada.

Funding for the new student housing is part of StrongerBC’s Future Ready plan. Future Ready is making education and training more accessible, affordable, and relevant to help businesses grow and to prepare British Columbians for the jobs of tomorrow.


Johnny Strilaeff, president and CEO, Columbia Basin Trust

“Congratulations to the College of the Rockies on the opening of the village and the new building names that honour the connection to the Ktunaxa Nation and Shuswap communities in the region. This housing meets a clear demand and these barrier-free, affordable housing options increase accommodation availability for students, and support their learning journey, and also benefit the wider community by freeing up more rental options.”

Rylee Bell, biology student, College of the Rockies –

“It was scary moving away from home and being two provinces away from my family. Yet moving into the village was like moving into a welcoming community. The proximity of the village to the college has helped with time management and makes accessing everything the school has to offer much easier. I love having my own private bathroom, the built-in support systems, modern living spaces, location alongside the community forest and the friendships I’ve built with other village residents.”

Quick Facts:

  • The Province invested $12.9 million in the $19-million project, and the college contributed the remaining $6.1 million.
  • The college’s contribution includes a $1-million donation from Columbia Basin Trust.
  • College of the Rockies has approximately 2,200 students, with approximately 51% from outside the Cranbrook area.
  • Cranbrook has a rental vacancy of approximately 1.8%, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s latest report (2020).
  • The project generated approximately 95 jobs in construction and the supplier industry.

Learn More:

For more about College of the Rockies, visit: https://cotr.bc.ca/


Media Contacts
Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training

Media Relations
250 508-5030

Heather Jackson
Manager, Communications and Marketing
College of the Rockies
250 489-8258