October 6, 2008: Capilano University's Squamish campus moves closer to dream of expansion

      Monday, October 6, 2008
      Contact: Shelley Kean at 604.983.7596

      (SQUAMISH, B.C.)—After years of discussion and negotiation, Capilano University has moved one step closer to a longtime dream of an expanded presence in Squamish. The recent purchase of 1.87 hectares (4.64 acres) of land formerly owned by BC Rail now gives the university almost 6.07 hectares (15 acres) on which to base its future plans.

      "The acquisition of this land is really a building block for the future that will allow the university to grow as the community expands," said Dr. Greg Lee, president of Capilano University. "This critical first step was completed as a direct result of the foresight and hard work of Squamish Mayor Ian Sutherland, and with the strong support of MLA Joan McIntyre."

      The Ministry of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development funded the purchase, which was approximately $1.5 million. Mayor Sutherland worked alongside West Vancouver-Garibaldi MLA, Joan McIntyre, who recently became the minister of state for intergovernmental relations, and Capilano University to ensure that the community would continue to have access to education in the downtown core of Squamish.

      “This is an important milestone as Capilano University looks forward to expanding its campus in Squamish,” Sutherland said. “Having the University in the heart of our community is a cornerstone of our downtown revitalization strategy.”

      The location of the land is near the Squamish estuary and would provide the university with a natural laboratory that will present a rich learning opportunity for students and community groups.

      “Having a new facility one day will play an important role as an economic driver in the region, attracting employees and students from the immediate area and from around the world,” says Casey Dorin, Capilano’s dean of Howe Sound and Tourism programs. “It really is the future of education in the community.”

      Regionally, Capilano University is the only public post-secondary institution in the vast area from Deep Cove to Mt Currie north of Pemberton. This fast growing region has the highest per capita rate in B.C. of people interested in degree programs.

      Capilano’s first classes in Squamish were offered in 1973 in the basement of a local resident. In 1979, Capilano opened its first campus on Second Avenue, moving into its current facility at 1150 Carson in 1995. Last year, more than 180 students enrolled in programs at Capilano’s Squamish campus, including five international students.

      Capilano University serves the communities of the Lower Mainland, Howe Sound, and the Sunshine Coast through campuses in North Vancouver, Squamish and Sechelt. Enrolment totals 6,700 students in credit programs each term with an additional 7,000 people taking non-credit courses annually. Capilano offers a complete range of preparatory courses, university transfer courses, business and management studies, creative and applied arts programs, health and human services programs, plus a range of services in support of student learning and success. Credentials awarded include bachelor degrees, associate degrees, post-baccalaureate diplomas, advanced diplomas, diplomas, certificates and statements of completion.