The development area of the new 145-unit residence at Red Deer College.

New Red Deer College student residence application approved

First use of building will be 2019 Winter Games athletes

A new five-storey Red Deer College student residence will likely see its first use by the athletes attending the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer.

The residence, which will provide 145 bachelor units primarily used for student housing, received City of Red Deer Municipal Planning Commission approval on Wednesday.

Ian Douglas, representing Red Deer College, said the cost of the project has not been finalized yet. The college expects to break ground in July, with the building to be completed by November 2018, a few months prior to the winter gamesscheduled to take place from Feb. 15 to March 3, 2019.

The residence is the first phase of an eventual three-building college residence development, and will initially have 112 parking stalls. Given that the building is considered more of a lodging or boarding house, rather than a multi-family residential building, it actually requires only 73 stalls, administration told MPC members.

The residence will be located at at 100 College Blvd. in the northwest portion of RDC lands, south of the West Park neighbourhood. East of the location is the long-term care and assisted living facility, Bethany CollegeSide and Collegeside Gardens.

The existing wetlands on the west side of the residence will be retained, as will the grass and treed area to the north.

MPC members focused on the building’s north side elevation, concerned about the plain facade that would be seen the many drivers who use 32nd Street, and those who reside in the West Park neighbourhood.

One of the conditions of the commission’s approval was that the north side of the building be revised so that it presents a “softer,” more compatible colours and materials palette, and that the building entrances be more clearly defined and articulated.

The building includes solar panels intended to make it environmentally sustainable, offsetting part of the utility costs.

Along with existing residences at RDC, the new residence will become the Athlete’s Village during the Winter Games.

Red Deer College will have a big role in the Winter Games, as the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre is also under construction on campus.

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