Rock to Road

New trades training facility puts students on path to success

September 3, 2019  By B.C. Government

September 3, 2019, Castlegar, B.C. – Selkirk College students are now able to access cutting-edge training facilities that will get students job-ready for in-demand trades careers, with the official opening of a new trades training facility.

“Students in the Kootenays will have access to state-of-the-art facilities and the equipment they need to be industry ready,” said Melanie Mark, minister of advanced education, skills and training. “Our government is delivering 21st-century trades training to give students the hands-on experience they need to get high-paying, family supporting jobs and be a part of building the best B.C.”

The official opening of three trades buildings and a new student commons building, all LEED certified, was celebrated with Selkirk College president Angus Graeme, students, faculty and staff. More than 500 trades students and faculty can now access modern trades training facilities to get hands-on experience in programs like heavy mechanics, carpentry and welding.

“Selkirk College is so grateful for the way that the Province of B.C., the Government of Canada, Columbia Basin Trust and our industry, labour union and local government partners have come together to reimagine and renew the Silver King Campus at Selkirk College,” Graeme said. “With everyone’s help, students now have a truly life-changing environment to learn, gain confidence and be job-ready for a tremendous future in their chosen field.”


The project includes two renovated trades buildings on the Silver King Campus grounds, as well as the construction of a new carpentry shop with a large covered outdoor work area. The new student commons building houses a cafeteria, a multi-purpose open study area and an Indigenous Gathering Place.

The project will create space efficiencies that will enable the college to accommodate existing demand, as well as growth, without increasing the campus footprint.

The total cost of the project was $23.2 million, with $13.63 million from the Government of British Columbia, $5.84 million from the Government of Canada’s Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund (SIF), $2 million from Selkirk College and the remainder from industry partners and donors.

Investments through the Post-Secondary Institutions SIF are being used to modernize facilities at Canadian universities and colleges, as well as improving their energy efficiency and reducing their impact on the environment.

British Columbia has received $257 million through the SIF. Twenty public post-secondary institutions and one private First Nations institution in B.C. are benefiting from 30 individual projects throughout the province.

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