About 500 students staying in Red Deer College’s residence will be out of their rooms for a month to make space for athletes competing in the 2019 Canada Winter Games.
Approximately 3,600 athletes will stay on RDC campus, which means students will have to stay somewhere else. Trent Rix, director of ancillary and sports services, said that someplace else will be Olds College residence.
About 300 of the 500 RDC students will stay with friends or family during the Games between February and March.
“The largest chunk won’t require residence support at all, they’ve made the choice they won’t be paying their normal rent for that month. That’s great students are seizing the opportunity to save a little bit of money and are finding their own way,” said Rix.
Classes will be in session for two weeks in that one-month period, Rix said. The remaining two weeks fall under spring break.
The remaining 200 students will either stay at Olds College for the entire month, or for two weeks when classes are in session.
Those who stay in Olds will be provided with a meal plan and free busing between the two schools.
“Our residence team will be down with them,” Rix said, adding students will be paying normal rent, and on top of that, they will get a meal plan for the time they don’t eat at RDC.
RDC students will be provided with the programming and services they’re accustomed to during their time in Olds, such as counselling support, security and health services.
Move out will start Feb. 8. Classes will continue until Feb. 13, followed by the two-week break, which will end March 4, and students will be back in class.
“Move in (back to RDC) will occur later that week, after we have had a chance to get the rooms back right for everyone, so during that week of academics of early March, they will be staying in Olds College as well,” said Rix.
The athletes will be the first to occupy a new residence building at RDC, which is under construction and slated to be ready in January. The athletes will stay on campus in groups of two: 1,800 each.
The new residence building — which will ultimately house 145 RDC students (and double the amount of Games athletes because of pull-down murphy beds) — will be finished on time and on its $18 million budget.
The new facility will house RDC students starting in August for the 2019-20 school year.
RDC students have been flexible and understanding about housing the Games athletes, said Rix.
“I think it comes down to us not trying to make everyone do the same thing – we’ve been giving them a lot of choices and opportunities to get what they need,” said Rix.
“They’re excited. There are going to be some unique experiences for them as part of the Games, and the experience in Olds is going to be wonderful for them as well.”