Capilano University is following the footsteps of larger post-secondary institutions by opening its first student residence later this year, although it will be located off-campus at a nearby location.
Last month, the school announced it had signed a renewable five-year lease for a former 6.5-acre international boarding school campus, built in the late-1980s, at 2420 Dollarton Highway owned by North Shore developer Darwin Properties.
Previous tenants at the campus include Goldenwood Hall, Canadian International College, and The Westside School, which vacated the property and ended its lease in 2014. The following year the property was listed for sale by its owners for $34 million.
The repurposed campus for university students is a 10-minute drive or a 15-minute bus ride, including one transfer at Phibbs Exchange, from Capilano University’s main campus on Purcell Way.
Up to 250 students can be accommodated in the complex, which includes a residence that consists of three dormitory buildings and a 14,000 sq. ft. dining hall. Dormitories will be made available to students in both single and shared configurations, and there will also be an all-inclusive meal plan and unlimited Wi-Fi.
Outdoor amenities for residents include tennis and basketball courts and a playing field.
Officials with the school administration say the student accommodations are being provided to assist students who are facing challenges with securing housing, especially in the North Shore where rental vacancy rates are exceedingly low.
Future phases, either through rentals of existing buildings or new purpose-built residences, will expand the university’s housing options for its students.
“We have listened to our students and are taking action to respond to their needs,” said Paul Dangerfield, president of Capilano University, in a statement. “To date, a significant impediment to the growth of our student population is the lack of accessible, affordable student housing on or near our campus. CapU Residence is our first step towards addressing our students’ appeals for affordable housing.”
The new student residence campus will open this September in time for the start of the 2017-18 academic year.
Approximately 10,500 students are enrolled at Capilano University’s programs.