The first new student dormitory added to Trinity Western University’s campus in 25 years was unveiled Wednesday.
TWU celebrated the opening of its new student residence, Skidmore Hall, with a short commemoration ceremony that included remarks by TWU president Bob Kuhn, Langley Township mayor Jack Froese, and other invited guests.
TWU is the largest and fastest growing Christian university in Canada and the addition of Skidmore Hall is considered an important step in accommodating the growing demand for spaces on campus. New university campaigns have led to increased interest and enrolment from all over North America.
The new modular building residence, built by ATCO, accommodates 130 predominantly first-year students. Construction started May 1 and students began moving into the building Sept. 9.
The four month construction period is a unique part of building a modular facility, said TWU senior vice president of business administration and CFO Bob Nice.
“Concurrent with the foundation portion being put in place, the modules are built off site and then brought on site,” Nice said. “It enables us to do it much quicker than a typical construction (project).”
Nice said the modular design also makes for a much more energy efficient building than that of a “stick build.”
TWU president Bob Kuhn said Skidmore Hall is a “clear indication of our growth over the past three years.”
“It provides clear evidence that TWU is attracting more students interested in our unique and expanding education opportunities, caring faculty and staff, and vibrant student community on the doorstep of a world class city,” Kuhn said. “Thanks to the addition of Skidmore Hall, there is more room for students from local communities, across Canada and other countries to experience this extraordinary university.”
This new addition is a long time coming — most current TWU students weren’t event born the last time new student accommodation was built.
In recent years, TWU’s 900 residence beds were filled, and some double-occupancy rooms were converted into triple-occupancy rooms to meet demand, and some upper year students were still turned away from on-campus housing due an to inadequate supply.
The new residence is named in honour of the Skidmore family, who are long-time supporters of TWU and have had many family members graduate from the university.
Also new for the 2017-18 school year, TWU also added a new café, expanded its current cafeteria, and renovated its bookstore to meet the rapid student growth today and plan for continued growth in the years ahead.