Tenth Street dorms on track for September opening

Work on the $7 million overhaul to the student residences at Selkirk College’s Tenth Street campus in Nelson is behind schedule, but still expected to be completed in time for the upcoming school year.

Although behind schedule

Work on the $7 million overhaul to the student residences at Selkirk College’s Tenth Street campus is behind schedule, but still expected to be completed in time for the upcoming school year.

Ron Zaitsoff, the college’s director of facilities and maintenance, says finishing work has started over the last several weeks.

“They’re seal-coating the concrete and painting the drywall,” he says. “The heating system is installed and is being pressurized and commissioned.”

The roofing work is also pretty much finished, so interior work is now the priority.

“We asked our contractor probably two months ago to focus on the actual room completion because September’s not too far off,” Zaitsoff says.

Redevelopment of the theatre in the same building complex — the former Studio 80 — isn’t slated for completion until early October.

Zaitsoff says they encountered some challenges renovating the old building, which set them back from the original timeline, but “I think in general we’ve been pretty pleased with the performance of the last three or four months, once all the design work was finalized.”

Orders have been placed for beds, desks, chairs, and other furniture.

Once completed, the building is expected to house about 100 students. Prior to the announcement that the residences would be ready this year, Selkirk had 70 students on a waiting list. They have since confirmed 56 applications and are processing more.

“I am certain we will have a full residence for the fall semester,” says residence coordinator Carolyn Tuai.

A variety of accommodation will be available, ranging from one-bedroom suites with kitchenettes and private washrooms that go for $600 a month to three and five-bedroom pods for $435 to $475 per month.

The latter will be in the east wing, accessed by an exterior balcony, which allows the interior corridor to be converted into a functional space.

The west wing will serve several purposes, including the theatre space on the bottom floor; lounges, study rooms, offices, and potentially a student-run coffee shop and bookstore on the first floor; and additional dorms on the second and third floors.

The middle of the building will have a main entrance atrium with a glass wall, longue area, and patio.

Funding for the project came largely from the federal and provincial governments, as well as the Columbia Basin Trust and City of Nelson.

The Tenth Street residences consist of St. Martin’s Hall, built in 1961 with solid cast concrete walls and floors, and McCarthy Hall, added two years later using concrete post and beam with cinderblock infill walls.

They were home to students of Notre Dame University, David Thompson University Centre, Canadian International College, and finally Selkirk College, but have been empty for several years.

Selkirk says the closure was related to the “unsuitability of the traditional dorm configuration with large group washrooms and inadequate kitchen and lounge facilities which did not attract residents or help them live comfortably or affordably.”

The City of Nelson owns the residence, along with the rest of the campus.

The work is being done to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design gold standards. Penticton’s Wildstone Construction and Engineering is the contractor.

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