New Life Breathed into Selkirk College's Castlegar Campus Residence
Renovations to the Kekuli House Residence on Selkirk College’s Castlegar Campus are making a positive difference in student life.
Since last spring, the college has spent more than $35,000 upgrading the student housing on the Castlegar Campus. With the new kitchen and laundry facility now in operation, the atmosphere at Kekuli House been bolstered.
The new kitchen facility at the Kekuli House Residence on the Castlegar Campus features new equipment and bigger space for students to prepare meals.
“It has changed the environment,” says Selkirk College Food & Residence Manager Delina Underwood. “It makes it more communal and brings together the students for discussion. It makes them feel like they are part of a community rather than just living in a room.”
A Bigger and Brighter Space for Students
The Kekuli House Residence accommodates 100 students and is located in a gorgeous location overlooking the Columbia River. The units at Kekuli House have small kitchens which allow for simple meals, but prior to the kitchen renovation the communal kitchen was limited.
The kitchen renovation has tripled the size of the space and opened it up to a brighter atmosphere. Two new stoves, a large fridge, a dishwasher and microwaves were added to go along with the additional space and cooking supplies. The Selkirk College Maintenance Department played a key role in the kitchen design, development and final product which was completed this past Fall.
The renovation included the addition of six new high efficiency washer/dryer combinations which replaced outdated units.
“It has become a real gathering place because food always brings people together,” says Kekuli House Residence Manager Carolyn Tuai. “Students will be here studying and doing homework, but they can also be cooking.”
Living in residence is an important and memorable part of college life. The new space has allowed for more programming and more opportunities for students to come together. The kitchen opened just before Thanksgiving and there has been many group meals cooked since that time. There is also a weekly dinner club offered which helps younger students adapt to life away from their parents.
“It makes them feel more like it’s home because they do miss home when they come here at first,” says Tuai, who has been working at Selkirk College for more than three years and helped open the Tenth Street Campus Residence in Nelson before moving over to Kekuli House.
With many international students choosing the residence option, the kitchen also offers an exchange of ideas.
“The smells coming out of the kitchen are amazing,” says Tuai. “You get a real variety of food… it’s not your typical spaghetti and Kraft Dinner.”
A Desirable Place to Live
The renovation included the addition of six new high efficiency washer/dryer combinations which replaced outdated units that were located in the space now occupied by the expanded kitchen.
Selkirk College Food & Residence Manager Delina Underwood (right) and Residence Manager Carolyn Tuai (left) agree that the new kitchen has changed the dynamic at Kekuli House.
With more upgrades anticipated over the next few years, new life has been breathed into the residence which has been housing students for almost 50 years.
“It’s a big part of the college experience,” Underwood says of the residence. “If we can make it more welcome to them and give them the services that they would like to see, it makes our job easier in the long run.”