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Camosun College reopens key building at Lansdowne campus after $9.3-million renovation

State-of-the-art Saanich facility includes gathering spaces and improved infrastructure
People gather for the reopening of the Wilna Thomas building at Camosun College’s Lansdowne campus after it received a $9.3-million renovation. (Camosun College/Twitter)

Camosun College has reopened its Wilna Thomas building at its Lansdowne campus after a multi-million dollar renovation.

The building now hosts five upgraded classrooms and improved washrooms, new technology and heating and cooling systems.

The province invested $9.3 million into the renovation and said students, staff and faculty now have access to state-of-the-art facilities. The reopened space includes a 150-person gathering hall with an attached patio, a quiet reflection area and breakout rooms, a new cafe, Indigenous learning space and an ‘Idea Lab’ for innovation and collaboration with other students.

Lane Trotter, the college’s president, said in a joint news release that the flexible and multi-purpose spaces support the long-term vision for Camosun.

“The Wilna Thomas building is at the heart of Camosun College’s Lansdowne campus and provides spaces to relax, collaborate and learn, all of which are a vital part of the educational experience,” added Anne Kang, minister of advanced education and skills training.

The building first opened in 1996 and is named in memory of Wilna Thomas, a college instructor, social worker and donor. It serves programs including health and human services and adult basic education, along with being a gathering place for Indigenous, cultural and college events, the joint release said.

“Students need a purpose-built place where they can go to study, collaborate and just hang out without worrying about disturbing other people,” said Jessie Niikoi, external executive of the Camosun College Student Society. “The renovations to the Wilna Thomas building bring a lot of very cool and exciting features to the Lansdowne campus that will help students come together and collaborate.”

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