Provincial funding will be used to add 148 new beds in two buildings at Selkirk College campuses in Castlegar and Nelson.

According to the provincial government, a three-storey building will be constructed at the college in Castlegar, which will hold 112 student beds while Nelson’s Silver King Campus will have 36 new beds across two storeys.

Both buildings will have two family units and two accessible units.

B.C. Government officials said the buildings will provide more housing options for students and help take pressure off the rental market in both communities.

“It is exciting to envision what this new housing will do for students who attend our regional college in the future,” said Katrine Conroy, MLA for Kootenay West and a Selkirk College alumna. “The college is a major driver of our regional workforce, with graduates found in every corner of our communities. We need to ensure that while people are going to school, they have stable housing.”

Government staff said more than 2,800 students attend Selkirk College, with 100 beds in its student housing complex on Castlegar and another 109 in Nelson’s Tenth Street campus.

“Equitable access to an affordable post-secondary education is fundamental to our mission at Selkirk College,” said Angus Graeme, president, Selkirk College. “These new units will enable us to address the local student housing crisis and support more students with secure and stable housing. Having the opportunity to live affordably on campus near the classrooms and services means that students can focus on being successful in their courses and programs.”

Construction is slated to begin in early 2022 with the job expected to wrap up in the summer of 2023.