Transformative” and “instrumental for the future,” students look forward to utilizing facilities in the Commons.

UBCO’s newest building, the Commons, finished construction in early Spring. Although the building has been finished for some time, many students have yet to go into the building let alone utilize its facilities. Today, the Commons is open and operational but many of the spaces and services are still in development.

An overview of the building on UBCO’s website describes the project design as “futuristic and state-of-the-art.” The building is geared towards not only the future of UBCO but the future of education practices.

The Commons sports UBCO’s largest classroom of over 400 students, has over 350 collaborative study spaces, 120 new quiet study spaces, 33 bookable study rooms, and study spaces dedicated solely to graduate students. Originally proposed as an addition to the current library, it’s safe to say that the building has surpassed those plans. The Commons is now one of the largest and most costly buildings on campus.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal Deborah Buszard described the building as a “transformative for UBC Okanagan”. The Commons is “instrumental for the future development of UBCO given the rapidly developing and expanding campus” said Buzzard. It’s fair to say that students are excited to use the new space and looking forward to the Common’s late hours of operation (Monday-Sunday, 6 a.m.-1 a.m.).

Some of the more impressive features include a digital technology centre and a visualization lab to facilitate data modelling in research fields such as advanced manufacturing and health and data science.

Although described as a multipurpose facility, given the building’s design and various features it’s safe to say science and technology are the main focus. “UBC Okanagan students are our future leaders in many areas such as tech, science and engineering, and they’re helping us build the best B.C.,” said Melanie Mark, B.C.’s Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. UBC’s investment in the new building marks a clear dedication towards advancing students’ 21st-century careers.

It has not been specified when all rooms and services in the Commons will be fully operational. However, considering students generously contributed 9.8 million towards the project, many are expecting that all services be ready by the start of upcoming 2020 school year.