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Thompson Rivers University puts two 'high-priority' buildings out to market

First phase to connect key buildings, project goes live by February 2027
A rendering of the Indigenous Education Centre to be built on Thompson Rivers University campus.

Two “high priority” buildings set to be constructed on Thompson Rivers University’s campus are now out to market and in search of a construction manager.

According to a Request for Proposal from the university, drawings and specifications for TRU’s $22-million Indigenous Education Centre are predicted to be ready for tender by the end of October while the project is currently in the design development phase.

The new centre was approved by TRU’s board of governors in September last year and has been on the university’s long-term capital plan since 2018.

The 14,700 square foot building will be built into the existing slopes on the site and will include a double-height community gathering space and a three-story mass timber building built to LEED Gold standard.

TRU said the gathering space is inspired by traditional summer lodges built by local Indigenous populations while the building will be utilized by Indigenous elders, students, faculty and researchers.

According to a project schedule, the building is projected to begin construction in January 2025 and will be completed in June 2026. Construction is estimated to cost over $15-million.

The centre will be located at the former site of the Cariboo Child Care Society on TRU's campus and will provide space for Indigenous students, ceremonies, and culture and scholarly work.

A rendering of the LCDES building | TRU

A new low carbon district energy system building and mechanical retrofits are now tender-ready.

The new system of air-source and water-source heat pumps will provide heat and hot water to buildings across campus, including the Indigenous Education Centre. Existing natural-gas boilers will be decommissioned once the system is connected.

The over 5,800 square foot LCDES building will be erected adjacent to the university’s existing generator building on the western side of the Old Main building.

The system will be implemented in two phases, the first of which will connect to the Old Main, science, international, culinary arts, clock tower, old library, BC centre for open learning and gym buildings.

The LCDES building and existing mechanical system retrofits of the generator building are estimated to cost around $14-million.

TRU partnered with Vancouver-based Creative Energy who will operate the system on campus. Creative Energy will fit out the heat generating plant within the LCDES building, install an underground heating water distribution system and energy transfer stations.

The system is projected to go live no later than Feb. 2027.

TRU’s capital budget for the 2024-25 year was approved in March and included $4 million for the Indigenous education centre and $6 million for the low carbon district energy system.