The doors for Red Deer College’s new residence building are officially open.
The grand opening for the five-storey facility, which features 145 studio suites, including 10 barrier-free suites, was held Thursday afternoon.
“We think this is the next evolution in design for residences for students in post-secondary education. This is what they want, this is what they need, and we were able to deliver this to them,” said Joel Ward, RDC president and CEO.
The facility was designed by students, staff and contractors.
“We ended up with an incredible design that suits our students, but we also said, ‘Let’s be different and not have this look like a Super 8 (Motel), with nothing but hallways and rooms.’
“We asked how we can open it up to encourage collaboration with our students and how we can make sure there are spaces to work, to study and to spend time together,” said Ward.
Each suite includes a self-contained kitchen and bathroom, complete with a shower. The building also houses a number of spaces, including a movie room and study rooms.
“We have all kinds of things in this facility that make sense, so a student is not just living in a room, but living in a community,” Ward said.
“I think most folks will go through the new building and remember what their residence experience was like and say, ‘Wow, how come it took so long? How come I didn’t get to live in one of these?”
Ward said the goal is to open three more new residence buildings.
Brittany Lausen, president of the Students’ Association of Red Deer College, said she’s excited the building is officially open.
“Students who have moved away from home … want somewhere that will be their new home – somewhere nice to call home,” she said.
“I’m really excited come September, to see all the students take advantage of this beautiful facility as we continue to grow as an institution.”
Lausen said this is the type of facility students need.
“Education is kind of changing throughout the world and our province. A residence isn’t just a bed, a desk and a dresser. It’s about having that interactive learning environment where you feel comfortable,” she said.
Construction was complete in January and the first guests to use the facility were athletes at the 2019 Canada Winter Games.