The community-minded campus aims to open October 15th
Megan Amato // Associate News Editor
Tae Hoon Kim // Photographer
Capilano University will introduce its new campus this October in the newly transformed and refurbished Shipyards development on Lower Lonsdale. The building sits on the harbour overlooking the city of Vancouver and will boast restaurants, shops and businesses, along with other amenities in the city of North Vancouver’s attempt to revitalize the harbourfront.
Facing westward towards Lonsdale Road, the nearly 11,500 square foot space is located on the second floor of the building with six classrooms, various offices and meeting spaces. It will be the new home for Capilano’s Continuing Studies & Executive Education, a perfect location to connect with transit for a program that holds evening classes. There are plans for Spring 2020 to accommodate the Paralegal program which has up until now been running out of another campus. Capilano’s Director of Communications and Marketing Victoria Miles stated they are excited to be able to “bring back programs that have [previously] been located off campus.”
It’s a chance for Capilano to coalesce all their programs and bring them into the Capilano community. Miles added that deciding what other programs will be offered will take careful deliberation and collaboration concerning what will be suitable to introduce in the fall semester. Classes for the Continuing Studies and Executive Education program won’t start until the beginning of November. Other classes that will start at the main campus in September will move over to the Lonsdale campus after its opening date. The university advises students to pay attention to their myCap schedule to see if they are registered at the Lonsdale campus and to plan accordingly.
The Shipyards will act as an extension of the main campus and students studying at Lonsdale can find their usual student resources at the Purcell Way campus, but Miles stressed that “support services will always be accessible to students.” There will be no cafeteria on site, but students will have an abundance of options in the Shipyards itself, as well as other restaurants and cafes along Lonsdale, on the Quay and in the public market.
Miles said that the decision to open a satellite location has been “an ongoing discussion for several years [and was finalized] when the opportunity with the Shipyards was presented itself in June 2018.” The final decision to lease the building was made the following winter by a five-member board including Capilano President Paul Dangerfield and announced to the public earlier this April. The initial opening date for this project is currently two weeks behind but Miles said that the timeline had always been ambitious. “This isn’t a pre-existent space we are moving into. Construction and permits need to be in place before we can introduce our IT systems.” DIALOG, the architecture firm behind the project, stated on their website that this project was inspired by the history of shipbuilding on Vancouver’s Burrard Inlet, and “prioritizes the heritage character of the original machine shop building.”
Capilano University hopes that the accessibility and vitality of the campus will attract potential students from all over the lower mainland. “It’s a new story to tell,” stated Miles. “To be present in the North Shore, increase visibility and create a connection to the community.”
One of the university’s first tasks after settling in is to create a good relationship with their neighbours, both residential and commercial. “Being good neighbours is first and foremost,” Miles said, after she was asked about partnerships the school might have with local businesses. “And harmonizing with the rest of the building and tenants. [The Shipyards] will be an extension of who we are with [that] basic community dialogue.” The campus aims to be a positive presence in the community that supports its neighbours while also outreaching to those only a fourteen-minute Seabus ride away.
Miles credits the marketing team for getting the word out there about the new campus. “[The Shipyards] is a new brand and brings a whole new freshness,” she says, regarding the energizing effect on the marketing team. Students, faculty and community members can keep up-to-date on progress and events through the university’s social media presence on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. They can also expect to see adverts placed on buses and other strategic spots. However, she says that while curiosity about the space remains high, it won’t be until people walk through the space that it will be sated.