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NWCC student housing delayed

More permanent housing will be sought for Smithers students
Northwest Community College plans to place temporary student housing modules on Mountainview Drive to accommodate international Business students in Smithers. Contributed photo

Modular housing is going to be a bit late for college business students starting classes May 7 in Smithers.

Northwest Community College communications director Sarah Zimmerman said the temporary housing should be up and ready to move in on Mountainview Drive between Walnut Elementary School and Pioneer Place Activity Centre by May 14.

Students in the meantime will be put up in hotels.

“When they come (the modular housing units), they’re pretty well equipped. So it gives us that abilty to be nimble in terms of putting eveerything together fairly quickly once they’re all on site,” said Zimmerman.

Classes and housing will be at the full capacity of 20 students.

Most are international students.

“We also have domestic students. Our main purpose in wanting to provide housing is so that we can build capacity for domestic students so they can take academic programming in Smithers, and we know that the low vacancy rate in Smithers has been a barrier to some of those programs,” said Zimmerman.

“We’re hoping this is a first step in being able to build that up in the Smithers area.”

She added that a more permanent housing solution for college students would be sought with help from the provincial government.

The temporary use permit is only good for three years before it can be applied to be renewed for a maximum of another three years.

The need to build off-site works, including a sidewalk in front of the temporary housing, does not seem to be an issue for the college.

“I don’t know that is an issue at this point. That doesn’t mean there hasn’t been some discussion about it, but I’m not aware of it,” said Zimmerman.

The business program is two years long. There is the opportunity for a Business Administration diploma, or the Post Degree Diploma for people who have a degree but want a diploma in business specifically.