Two new buildings begin construction on campus, despite delays

Students share their thoughts on the new childhood centre and on-campus housing

Vansh Malhotra (he/him/his) // Contributor
Freya Emery (she/her) // Editor-in-Chief

CapU students wait in anticipation for the completion of two major projects: the new Centre for Childhood Education and the student housing development promised by 2024.

CapU has a diverse community of international students from all over the globe. On top of Vancouver’s infamous living expenses, CapU’s international tuition fees act as a prohibitive barrier to entry for prospective students. According to an article in the Vancouver Sun, as of April 2022, Vancouver was the third least affordable city in the world, after Hong Kong and Sydney.

Karandeep Singh Sanghera, an Associate of Science student and Capilano Students’ Union President, believes affordable housing is key in not only attracting more students, but in preserving their mental wellbeing as well.

“The housing program at CapU has a vital connection with mental health,” Sanghera stressed, “I have seen students resorting to drugs or alcohol when they cannot cope with immense stress—most of them lose interest in academics and take part-time jobs to fund housing. I am eager for the housing program to be available soon, as I feel it can improve students’ lives by making housing more flexible and accessible.”

Sanghera’s statements emphasize the measures the university could take to reduce mental health problems among the student body. It makes a great effort to introduce fun activities for the students through organisations like the CSU and CapURec. He states that focusing on factors that trigger chronic problems for the students, like housing, would be a positive step forward.

Holden Sasaki, a creative writing major, considers both projects fantastic ideas. “I believe the childcare centre can help many people who need it, as its on-campus location has the potential to relieve stress from parents and promise enrolled children a valuable learning experience,” Sasaki said. “I adore the student housing idea as it’s more affordable than renting off campus. I sincerely hope that the school can offer an alternative to the ridiculous external rent prices these days instead of hiking up prices because they can.”*

Sasaki also believes that an on-campus residence will simplify things. “Unfortunately, the current CapU residence buildings are a 20-minute bus ride off the main campus,” Sasaki shared. “I believe this is not incredibly convenient as in traffic or emergencies the commuting time takes longer, so building housing on-campus would be better for the people residing there.”

This is only a taste of the challenges students must endure, despite CapU residences being only a short distance away. Academic pressure becomes complicated as the term leaps into midterms and final exams, making it difficult for students to manage schedules with volatile commuting times.

On-campus student housing has many advantages because learners can live where they study. This six-storey, 8,250 square metre complex would include 362 beds of accommodation, a dining hall building, laundry facilities, student study areas, lounge space and a kitchen on each floor.

The Courier reached out to the university regarding when exactly these projects will be finished and what is blocking the path of the construction process. However, we could not find a contact to interview regarding these questions before this issue’s print deadline. Nevertheless, a recent Facebook post on September 6, 2023 informs us that work has been started on the new housing complex.

*Note that residence is technically classified as non-market housing, it’s higher in price than normal non-market housing but lower than market housing.

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