Okanagan College getting new Health Sciences Centre

A new $18.9 million Health Sciences Centre is being built at Okanagan College in Kelowna.

The 30,000 square foot building will replace the campus’s current, outdated health building.

“Our health building is one of the oldest on campus and while it’s served us well for more than 5 decades, it is time to invest in new health and social development facilities,” said Okanagan College President, Jim Hamilton “I couldn’t be happier to hear the announcement of this getting the go ahead”

The new building will have labs and classrooms for programs in health and social development, including practical nursing, early childhood education and pharmacy technician.

It is also expected to create the equivalent of 79 additional full-time student spaces.

Kelowna-Mission MLA, Steve Thomson announced the province would be investing $15.4 million towards the building on Tuesday.

“The labour market outlook predicts more than 48,000 job openings in the health occupation job group due to retirement and sector expansion,” Thomson said “and the growing demand for health care professions is well known”

The remaining $3.5 million will be covered by the college.

Construction won't begin until summer 2018, with completion set for spring 2020.