The Okanagan Campus is proposing a new academic building to facilitate worldleading, inter/transdisciplinary teaching and research, to advance its commitment to TRC Calls to Action, and to address critical space capacity needs. The Okanagan campus not only faces an acute shortage of academic and student space, there is also a near-total absence of spaces that can facilitate interdisciplinary, collaborative learning and engagement. The proposed building is expected to be at least 15,330 GSM (165,000 GSF) and will open up opportunities for the entire campus (as opposed to being discipline-specific). The current title is a place-holder. The Dean’s Council has recommended that we ask UBCO’s Indigenous Advisory Council to propose a name for the building.
Space for Teaching and Student Support: 56% (107,000 gsf) of the 165,000 gsf will be dedicated to teaching, student support, and purpose-built spaces to facilitate interactive learning and community engagement. At steady state, the programs housed in the building will have an enrolment of approximately 400. We envisage this building to provide a fully digitally enabled active learning space for a wide range of interdisciplinary programs: such as the Indigenous language fluency and revitalization initiatives, programs in high-value agriculture and indigenization of agroecology; health technology and health management; cannabis research and management; interdisciplinary programs in 4D and 5D design etc. The building is intended to serve a much broader group of students through the facilities it will provide, addressing the following critical gaps in our current facilities:
- The campus currently has only 3-4 classrooms that are fully digitally enabled for delivering curriculum across UBC’s two campuses or to connect to other relevant community partners who can participate in our
- The campus currently has extremely few classrooms to accommodate large numbers of students (over 100); this is a serious constraint for delivering innovative curricular approaches
- The campus currently has no buildings that include particular design features that help us advance the goals of inclusion (in particular indigenization of the campus). The Okanagan School of Education, Faculty of Education UBC, is very keen to foster such Our Canada Research Chair in Okanagan Nation Philosophy, our relationship with the Okanagan Nation Alliance, and the Indigenous Advisory Council will be key to achieving these aspirations.
Research Space: 44% of the space in the building will be dedicated to research. Four main areas of interdisciplinary research will be housed in this facility. These areas have been chosen carefully taking into consideration several factors: alignment with UBC’s strategic plan; relevance for the region, and potential for significant social impact; current research strengths of UBCO faculty; potential for indigenization and indigenous engagement; potential for synergy between the two campuses of UBC; and potential for translating the knowledge generated by this research into unique interdisciplinary academic programs.
The proposed building will help UBC Okanagan advance its three key goals: accelerate research in key areas local and global impact; advance indigenous engagement; and free up space for critical student service which we are currently unable to offer due to our acute space shortage.
Over the next decade, the initiatives contemplated here will create a community of approximately 125 faculty (including 30 new faculty to be recruited in the next 10 years), 400 graduate students and post- doctoral researchers, and house up to 6 new graduate and undergraduate programs.