We're building homes for NIC students

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Welcome to the NIC Student Housing Commons project page. This page will follow the build of NIC’s first on-campus housing project, being constructed at the Comox Valley campus.

The Student Housing Commons will be multi-generational, inclusive, accessible, Indigenized, welcoming space for all students.

We thank the K’ómoks First Nation for their guidance, input and continued participation in the student housing sub-committees.

Project Fast Facts


Learn more about the Design-Build Team




Welcome to the NIC Student Housing Commons project page. This page will follow the build of NIC’s first on-campus housing project, being constructed at the Comox Valley campus.

The Student Housing Commons will be multi-generational, inclusive, accessible, Indigenized, welcoming space for all students.

We thank the K’ómoks First Nation for their guidance, input and continued participation in the student housing sub-committees.

Project Fast Facts


Learn more about the Design-Build Team




  • K’ómoks First Nation blesses NIC Student Housing Site

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    The K’ómoks First Nation, North Island College (NIC) and guests gathered at the Comox Valley campus Friday, Jan. 6 to bless the site of two new student housing buildings at NIC.

    The blessing is an important step that ensures the project enters the site preparation and construction phase respectfully.

    Blessing Event media release

  • Student Housing Site Blessing backgrounder

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    Backgrounder to the NIC site blessing event from Jan. 6, 2023 at the Comox Valley campus

    K’ómoks First Nation Statement

    The K’ómoks First Nation has worked with North Island College to ensure that the new student housing provides the comfort of home with a sense of belonging. The housing is not only a place of learning but more of a community of family and friends.

    Students will be able to learn without having the issues of housing and transportation as they will be situated on campus and within walking distance to classes and other nearby amenities. The student housing will have many Indigenous features in and around the buildings that will honour medicines, cultural and social events. K’ómoks First Nation, NIC and the architects have worked collaboratively and looked at every aspect and detail of the Indigenous design, and we are very appreciative of this initiative. K’ómoks First Nation is proud to invite students to our traditional territories to live and learn in such a wonderful community. We hope that this brings opportunity for everyone to learn our K’ómoks culture.

    Student Housing Commons at NIC

    The Student Housing Commons will result in 217 beds for students, including those with families.

    The project is much more than an apartment complex, with common spaces throughout the site. It will be an inclusive, accessible, Indigenized, welcoming space for all students—a living-learning community designed to make all students, including those with families, feel connected.

    Suites will be available in a variety of layouts, including quad, single and nano suites. The family building will be made up of 20 two-bedroom apartments. Students will be able to stay for a variety of tenures, to support the full range of trades, university transfer, health, human services, business, fine arts and digital design students at NIC.

    Indigenization

    The Student Housing Commons supports NIC’s commitment to Indigenous-led education and training and NIC’s responsibilities to reconciliation. The partnership with the K’ómoks First Nation on the design, use, artwork and elements of the building is aimed at making every student feel welcomed.

    Examples of designs include:

    • A Gathering Place inspired by traditional Big Houses with wooden benches, copper meshing and cedar slats.

    • The Knowledge Bridge is a mass timber structure that connects two residential buildings. The different levels are inspired by the three stages of traditional K’ómoks First Nation ceremonies.

    • There will be numerous interior and exterior locations for Indigenous artwork.

    • The project will incorporate the use of natural light and a colour scheme based on the K’ómoks First Nation Developer Guide, written by researcher Devon Miller.

    As part of NIC’s commitment to Indigenous students and communities, the College will provide priority entry for Indigenous students who apply by the application dates.

    Any trees that need to be removed from the site during the site preparation will be offered first to the K’ómoks First Nation Elders, with the remaining trees used for NIC and school district trades training programs.

    Accessibility

    The project design also achieves Rick Hansen certification by including elements such as power-operated door hardware, accessibility heights and clearance for lighting controls, kitchen space and appliances and bathroom space. Exterior patios are also low threshold and accessible to all occupants.

    There will be 11 accessible units, and at least one unit of each type (family, studio and quad) is designed as accessible. Most are located on the ground floor, with others on each floor to ensure inclusivity for all populations.

    Design-Build Procurement model

    The project’s Design-Build procurement model means the lead proponent oversees design, engineering and construction, though they will involve partners and sub-contract some work. The proponent also assumes any cost risks associated with the project.

    Urban One Builders and HDR

    Urban One and HDR presented an outstanding proposal that met or exceeded NIC’s stated requirements.

    About Urban One

    Urban One is a full-service construction company focused on large-scale, mixed-use and institutional projects. Founded in 2011, the company’s focus from the outset was to deliver a global standard in construction. Urban One quickly established itself as leaders in the industry with landmark projects covering a range of development types. In 2020 and 2021, Urban One ranked 6th on Business in Vancouver’s list of Biggest Construction Companies in BC with approximately $400 million in construction volume for the year.

    Urban One’s pioneering work in Mass Timber construction, combined with extensive experience with post-secondary institutional projects that make them the ideal partner for the NIC student housing project. Their ability to push the boundaries of what is possible in the field of sustainable construction is showcased in the 18-storey, UBC Brock Commons, the tallest Mass Timber tower in the world at the time of completion. They continue building on our pioneering work with Mass Timber projects like UBC Gateway and Canada Earth Tower.

    Other project partners have also worked on student housing in BC, including Structural Engineer Read Jones Christofferson Ltd. (Quest University, UBC, UBCO), and Mechanical Engineer AME Group (UBC, UBCO, SFU, Royal Roads, St. Michael’s University School).

    About HDR

    For over a century, HDR has partnered with clients to shape communities and push the boundaries of what’s possible. Our expertise spans more than 11,000 employees in more than 200 locations around the world—and counting. Our engineering, architecture, environmental and construction services bring an impressive breadth of knowledge to every project. Our optimistic approach to finding innovative solutions defined our past and drives our future. For more information, please visit www.hdrinc.com/ca.



  • NIC’s first housing improves access to education for North Island students

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    North Island College (NIC) is launching an ambitious plan to improve access to education for students in communities across the North Island with a new $65.9 million Housing Commons. The housing iwill include two buildings with a total of 217 beds, including 157 beds for single students and 60 beds for students with families.

    NIC Housing Commons



Page last updated: 02 Feb 2023, 01:13 PM