Thompson Rivers University

TRU celebrates grand opening of newest student residence

November 22, 2023

Opening the door to more student housing: TRU President and Vice-Chancellor Brett Fairbairn, TRU board chair Marilyn McLean, TRU Vice-President University Relations Brian Daly, Elder Joanne Brown, MBA student (and East Village resident) Tarun Agarwal, and TRU Vice-President Administration and Finance Matt Milovick.

KAMLOOPS — Thompson Rivers University (TRU) has expanded its student housing in Kamloops, with the newest residence now open for occupancy.

A grand opening ceremony on Wednesday, Nov. 22, marked the official unveiling of this new facility, symbolizing a significant milestone in TRU’s ongoing efforts to meet the evolving needs of its diverse student body. TRU staff, faculty and community partners were invited to hear from university officials and take a guided tour of the residence.

“It is with great pride and excitement that I announce the grand opening of our newest student housing at East Village,” said TRU President and Vice-Chancellor Brett Fairbairn.

“The new residence not only addresses the growing demand for affordable student accommodation, but also reflects our dedication to fostering a supportive and enriching campus environment. Secure and affordable housing is an important part of what enables students to succeed in their studies. Not only does this new housing enhance the student experience, it also shows TRU is continuing to do our part to address BC’s and Canada’s housing shortages. We are deeply grateful to our partners, particularly the Province of British Columbia, who made this possible.”

TRU Vice-President Administration and Finance Matt Milovick addresses the crowd at the opening of the Coyote Den student housing project.

The new building located at East Village features 80 rooms and 148 student beds with a mix of single and double occupancy, as well as common study and kitchen spaces, that provides more students with affordable housing just steps away from campus. The demand for such housing is evident, with approximately 25 students accepting the offer to move in mid-semester.

The building has been named Sk̓elepéllcw (Coyote Den) in honour and recognition of the traditional lands of the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc territory where TRU resides and features outstanding views of the North Thompson River and mountain vistas.

“The newest addition of Coyote Den will highly benefit the community of students,” said Tarun Agarwal, East Village resident and TRU student in the Master of Business Administration program, addressing the crowd that included Mayor Reid Hamer-Jackson and city councillors Katie Neustaeter, Kelly Hall, Stephen Karpuk, Margot Middleton and Bill Sarai.

“This building is not only a physical expansion, but an opportunity for students to create an environment that nurtures both academic excellence and the camaraderie that comes with shared living. As a resident, I’m glad to be a part of the opening of a space that will be a home away from home for countless students to come.”

The B.C. government provided $10.85 million toward the $18-million development, with TRU contributing nearly $8 million. The residence was built in an impressively short time using modular construction that was fabricated off-site by NRB Modular Solutions and transported to East Village, where it was assembled and ready for move-in within seven months.

“Having secure, stable and affordable housing is essential for students to be successful at their studies,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills. “The new residence at TRU builds on the thousands of new units we have delivered across BC that are relieving pressure on students and the local housing market.”

This development is phase one of a three-phase plan for TRU to build a total of three new student housing buildings at East Village. To support the next phase, the project includes a site build-out for the future student housing builds, including utility relocation and asphalt paving of the parking lot.



Michele Young, Manager, Communications Content
University Relations, Thompson Rivers University
250-828-5361 |

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