Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s sign is up in City Centre, as the institution prepares to open its fifth campus to students inside Civic Hotel next January. (Submitted photos)

New KPU campus in Surrey’s City Centre to focus on ‘new ways of learning’

The university’s fifth campus, inside Civic Hotel, is set to open to students next January

Kwantlen Polytechnic University is soon opening its fifth campus and it will be located in the ever-expanding downtown core.

KPU has purchased five floors in the new Civic Hotel, located at 13475 Central Ave., and the campus will have capacity for 300 to 400 students.

But it will be a very different campus than the university’s other four, explained Salvador Ferreras, KPU Provost and Vice-President Academic.

“It will be focused on new ways of teaching, new ways of learning. There’s a big focus on adult learners, and those who want to revitalize their careers, or have changed jobs or changed careers,” Ferreras told the Now-Leader.

“The whole idea of what we now call KPU Civic Plaza was to respond to the growing community that is downtown Surrey, as being a hub of post-secondary excellence and an ideal place for professional development.”

Of the five floors, three will be dedicated classrooms that will house, for the most part, post-baccalaureate programs.

“One of them in technical management and services, another one in operations supply chain management, another one in accounting, then we have two graduate diplomas, and they are even more sort of high level, intense. One in green business management and the other one is in green business management and sustainability,” explained Ferreras.

“They’re all very topical things, especially for Surrey which is leading the way on a number of sustainability practices,” he added.

And the campus will feature “non-traditional academic days,” meaning classes start early, end late, and there will be classes on Saturdays.

Ferreras said the new campus will also feature “modern classroom styles,” such as movable tables, and gathering spaces for students to break into groups and have private discussions.

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Meantime, the fourth floor KPU has purchased will be used as an assessment and testing centre.

And the fifth floor will be home to the Surrey Community Safety Office, a collaboration with the City of Surrey and SFU that is a product of the Mayor’s Gang Task Force on Gang Violence Prevention.

“We will all three be in there,” noted Ferreras.

In all, Ferreras said the hotel is a “wonderful location” and the new campus will be a “great place for learning.”

“The conception was that the campus would be a hub for us to connect with the city in a more meaningful way, being right next door to city hall and all the developments happening be it in housing or business or sustainability or transportation,” he mused.

“All that business is really happening there. The library is across the way there, and it’s also a hub for people in the Surrey area. And we’re located in the fastest growing and biggest part of Surrey. And in no time at all with the new transportation hub. We wanted to make sure we had a presence in that place and have things to offer that are compatible. We all have different programs but we want to be part of that part of Surrey. We’re very much dedicated to being that place where community intersects the university.”

Ferreras said the campus “couldn’t be more located on the SkyTrain if you tried. It’s just downstairs. You don’t even have to leave the building to connect to SkyTrain.”

“We’re just fitting it all out now, but we begin class in January,” he noted. “It feels so good. We’ve been at this for some time.”

KPU’s has two other campuses in Surrey (in Newton at 12666 72nd Ave. and in Cloverdale at 5500 180th St.) as well as a campus in Richmond at 8771 Lansdowne Rd., and another in Langley at 20901 Langley Bypass.



amy.reid@surreynowleader.com

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