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Plan in the works for CapU campus on Squamish oceanfront

Capilano University will pay $5 million for two acres of property in the Oceanfront Squamish development
The under-construction oceanfront property where CapU has agreed to purchase to acres of property | Photo: John Buchanan

More local learning options for post-secondary education may be on the way for Sea to Sky grads.

Capilano University announced on March 17 that it had entered a purchase agreement with Oceanfront Squamish.

The university will pay $5 million for two acres of property in the Oceanfront Squamish development.

 The university is also looking at a financial plan for improvements to the bordering foreshore area and road construction to enable access to the property, according to a news release.

"This is an exciting step forward towards realizing our priority of delivering relevant high-quality educational programming in Squamish, for the benefit of communities along the Sea to Sky Corridor," said Paul Dangerfield, president of Capilano University in the release. "Education is an integral part of any thriving community. We believe that our range of programs and commitment to strong community partnerships makes for an excellent foundation for CapU's return to Squamish."

Due to the timing of the agreement, Capilano University was able to choose its preferred site location in the 100-acre and incorporate new homes, businesses, industries and greenspaces, the release states.

In an emailed statement, Mayor Karen Elliott said that she is thrilled to hear news of the school's return and that a campus located at the Oceanfront Lands has been a part of the District's vision.

"It's great to see the university re-establish itself in the Sea to Sky Corridor, and I see synergies between Squamish's current needs, our forward-looking economic development efforts and emerging economies, and the programs the university offers," said Elliott in the statement. "The District wholeheartedly welcomes the influx of talent and vibrancy that results from the student population, faculty and the exciting opportunities for partnerships. We look forward to building on existing partnerships and establishing new ones with this announcement."

Capilano previously had a campus in town on Carson Place, but it closed in 2015 due to declining enrolment. Courses were still offered locally for a time, but the school did not have its own facility.  

While the plan for the new property is in the early stages, CapU says there will be public engagement and regular updates as the campus progresses.

Squamish Chief