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Building excitement at CapU: turning long-term visions into new realities

Big changes are underway at the university’s North Shore campus
2021.07.13_campus-photos-4 (1)
The university announced two major capital projects this year.

With nearly 9,000 students, 1,200 employees and 103 programs, Capilano University has multiple locations in Metro Vancouver and the Sea-to-Sky region, including its main campus in North Vancouver. Today, the university is poised for growth, announcing two major capital projects this year. The projects—a new Centre for Childhood Studies and Capilano University’s first onsite student housing—will help position the university to respond to community needs.

The Centre for Childhood Studies was announced January 13, 2022, with construction expected to start shortly. At 23,000 square feet, the two-story building will house the School of Education and Childhood Studies and a second childcare facility. Offering 74 new childcare spaces for infants and preschoolers, the Centre will double the number of childcare spaces on campus and add 20 early childhood education practicum placement spots. Funding for the $18.6 million project has been provided by the Province, the university and generous donations raised through a $5M capital campaign.

“Quality childcare is inextricably linked to social and economic development. It is a vital support for many families and essential for creating healthy communities,” says Capilano University president Paul Dangerfield. “The COVID-19 pandemic increased societal awareness and value for quality childcare, and Capilano University is well-placed to meet the growing needs of childhood educators and local families.”

Three months later, Capilano University announced its first on-campus student housing complex to be built starting in 2023. The six-storey, 8,250 square metre complex will include 362-bed accommodation, a dining hall building, laundry facilities, student study areas, lounge space and a kitchen on each floor. The province is providing $41.5 million towards the $58.2-million project, and CapU is investing $16.7 million. 

“Offering on-campus student housing marks a major step forward for Capilano University,” says Dangerfield. “Creating this opportunity for learners to live where they study will bring a pivotal revitalization to our main campus, reduce housing barriers and enhance the CapU experience for student residents.”

Both buildings are being designed thoughtfully, with  Capilano University’s Campus Master Plan in mind. The Campus Master Plan articulates a shared, long-term vision for the main campus to guide the university community in planning for the year 2030 and beyond. It also represents the evolution and development of the campus, with specific direction for the integration of current and future capital project initiatives. The vision will help ensure that Capilano University continues to provide life-enhancing learning experiences in diverse and inclusive environments.

“Our campus’s location on nearly 40 acres of Coast Salish territories makes our university environment unique, memorable and treasured,” says Dangerfield. “We’re excited about the next steps for our campus: being innovative in how we use this land, maximizing the use of our existing facilities, making better use of our outdoor spaces and integrating more with the North Shore community.”

You can learn more about Capilano University’s capital projects, including the Centre for Childhood Studies and on-site student housing, as well as the Campus Master Plan at