Work wraps up on COTR Invermere campus expansion

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Exterior of building
DTSS and COTR students are enjoying their new classroom spaces.

Both College and DTSS students enjoying their new spaces

An exciting partnership between College of the Rockies’ Invermere campus and David Thompson Secondary School (DTSS) has grown, backed by $2.8 million in funding from the provincial government. This partnership saw the College take over the DTSS art room and a brand-new room constructed for the high school.

“The Invermere campus and DTSS have shared space since 1998. Growth in College programs, including the addition of the Hospitality diploma program, and the subsequent increase in students, necessitated additional space for the campus,” said Allan Knibbs, Director of Facilities at COTR. “As DTSS’ art room was attached to the College’s portion of the building, we put in a proposal to the school and the Ministry of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills to take over that space and to, in return, build a new space for the school to use as an art room.”

The project got underway on Wednesday, April 19 and wrapped up in October. The new art room at DTSS has been meticulously designed to meet the latest code requirements for accessible spaces, following the space standards and guidelines provided by the Ministry of Education and Child Care. Simultaneously, the former art classroom was upgraded and modernized to align with evolving educational needs of the College.

“This collaboration between the College of the Rockies and David Thompson Secondary School will allow more students to access a wider range of skills training programs in their community,” said Brenda Bailey, Acting Minister of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills. “Whether it’s art and visual design, hospitality, or another field of study, our government is taking action to expand education opportunities for rural and remote communities. Through our StrongerBC Future Ready Action Plan, we are working to ensure we have talented people across B.C. to meet our labour market needs and drive our economy forward.”

Students from DTSS and the College began using their spaces in December, and the positive impact has been demonstrable.

“Rocky Mountain School District No. 6 was thrilled with the final project,” Assistant Superintendent, Steve Wyer said, “a state-of-the-art space for student creative design will ensure students have ongoing opportunities to explore all of the mediums of art and visual design. These types of partnerships in the community strengthen the overall well-being of the Columbia Valley.”

“We waited months as we witnessed the new DTSS art room rise from the ground that it now occupies,” said Principal Mike Hubick. “The process captured the imagination of many young artists.  It also captured the imaginations of future engineers, trades people, and architects.  The final product is an amazing space that is large and bright”.

College of the Rockies’ Invermere campus offers the Health Care Assistant program, adult upgrading, many Continuing Education and common-interest courses, in addition to the Hospitality Management diploma.

Learn more about the College, including the Invermere campus, at cotr.ca.

About College of the Rockies

For more than 45 years, College of the Rockies has provided post-secondary education that meets the needs and aspirations of the people, industry, and businesses of our region. Each year, we welcome more than 10,000 full-time and part-time students into a full range of programs, including: skilled trades, university studies, adult upgrading, early childhood education, health and human services, business, office administration, tourism, hospitality, recreation, fire services, continuing education, and contract training. Through smaller class sizes, highly personalized instruction and dedicated support services, our students are primed to succeed in the job market, or in the next stage of their academic journey.

Media Contact:
Heather Jackson
Manager, Communications and Marketing
College of the Rockies

Steve Wyer
Assistant Superintendent
Rocky Mountain School District No. 6