Students at the Coast Mountain College (CMTN) Terrace campus have access to more housing and improved facilities with the opening of 108 student beds and a renovated library.

The design of both spaces was informed by CMTN’s First Nations Council, students and staff to create a culturally safe environment that incorporates Indigenous art and cultural space.

“The care and attention to detail in these projects will inspire students to learn more about the world around them, all while creating a safe place to call home as they adjust to life on campus,” said Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training. “This increased student housing will also reduce the demand for rental housing in the community, helping to alleviate the housing market pressures throughout Terrace.”

The new student housing building, called Wii Gyemsiga Siwilaawksat, replaces housing that was more than 40 years old. The building’s name translates to “where learners are content or comfortable.” This is reflected in the choice to include two suites for visiting families of students, an Elder suite, two shared kitchens, two collaboration areas, a computer lab, an e-sports room and bike storage.

A central area features a variety of Indigenous fine art created by alumni and instructors from CMTN’s Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art. The building features two three-storey wings with 108 beds (104 student beds, up from 71 in the previous spaces).

The renovated Spruce Building Library, called Waap Sa’mn, is also open. The space includes an Indigenous reading circle area that houses Indigenous collections, as well as learning and administrative spaces. The renovation was needed following a 2018 flood in the basement of the building. Phase 2 of the building renovation is expected to be complete in fall 2022.

The Gitxsan, Haisla, Haida, Tsimshian, Nisga’a, Wet’suwet’en and Métis Nation are in CMTN’s service area. Design elements of the student housing building and library were incorporated to honour the First Nations and the Métis Nation the college serves across its seven regional campuses.