New Health Sciences Centre breaks ground at BCIT

Healthcare students at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) are one step closer to simulating real-life health care situations in an innovative and flexible space with the official groundbreaking of a new Health Sciences Centre.

BCIT-Minister Melanie Mark Health Sciences groundbreaking ceremony
Minister Melanie Mark joins BCIT for the official groundbreaking of a new Health Sciences Centre

The centre will provide the simulated healthcare environments that are a critical component of health-sciences education.

“This new state-of-the-art building is going to be a game changer for healthcare students at BCIT,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. “It will be more than just a building. It will be the training grounds for the next generation of highly-trained health specialists. It was designed with students and the environment in mind and fits squarely within our government’s CleanBC plan.”

SEE MORE: BCIT Health Sciences Centre: a new standard for sustainability and wellbeing

The new Health Sciences Centre will replace existing simulation space and will replicate the work environments for a variety of hospitals and laboratories. This centre will enable students to learn in an innovative, cohesive space that improves their quality of education.

“Healthcare professionals do a fantastic job every day at saving lives and helping people be healthier,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “The innovative Health Sciences Centre for Advanced Simulation at BCIT will have more realistic work scenarios that will give students the skills and experience they need to deliver quality care to their patients once they graduate.”

The new centre will be a four-storey, 111,460 square-feet, net-zero carbon emission building ─ supporting government’s CleanBC objectives of reducing commercial carbon footprints. The centre will accommodate and provide learning spaces to approximately 7,000 students, including part- and full-time students. It will also be the most sustainable building on campus and the first building to be a part of the INSPIRE Campaign.

“Our government is investing in cutting-edge 21st-century facilities like this so that students can develop the skills they need for rewarding, in-demand jobs in the health-care sector,” said Janet Routledge, MLA for Burnaby North. “By enhancing training for health-care professionals, we are delivering quality services that British Columbians count on.”

The Province is providing $66.6 million of the $78.3 million required to build the centre. Construction will help create 270 direct and 175 indirect jobs. Completion is expected by the end of 2021.


“The new BCIT Health Sciences Centre is a bold declaration of our ongoing commitment to training the professionals that support British Columbia’s vital health-care sector. Opening in 2021, this innovative teaching and learning space will embody our unique learning model by empowering people and shaping BC through applied education. The centre will be one of the largest buildings of its kind in Canada, featuring innovative simulation labs equipped with the latest virtual and augmented reality technology.” ─ Kathy Kinloch, President, BCIT

“During my time as a student in the health sciences faculty, I have been thoroughly impressed with BCIT’s dedication to specialized hands-on training and the level of commitment by my instructors. The training offered by BCIT has instilled confidence and essential clinical skills, allowing me to feel prepared to join a diagnostic health-care team.” ─ Sam Bienias, Diagnostic Medical Sonography student, BCIT

“Through our INSPIRE fundraising campaign, we are committed to future‐proofing applied education as we transform our infrastructure at BCIT. This new Health Sciences Centre is tangible proof of that commitment and of the generous support of our government and our community. Those who join us on this journey are helping to innovate education and empower students to make a difference in the communities where they live and work.”─ Dr. David Podmore, INSPIRE Campaign Chair and Co-founder & Chair, Concert Properties

“BCIT is good for the health of healthcare in our province. I am proud to have trained at BCIT. When I graduated I felt confident and ready to hit the ground running, which made for an easier transition into the workplace. BCIT’s relevant training and hands-on experiences put graduates in a great position to succeed in their careers. This new Health Sciences Centre will be an inspirational learning space, producing graduates who are able to adapt to a changing healthcare environment.” ─ Sarah Bell, Chief Operating Officer at BC Children’s Hospital and Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children, and Interim Chief Nursing Officer & Head of Professional Practice, PHSA

“Stantec is proud to celebrate the groundbreaking of the BCIT Health Sciences Centre. Our design blends immersive technology, a range of low to high fidelity rooms and collaboration spaces, connected via a continuous ribbon of social spaces to support a variety of learning modalities and experiences for students, faculty and staff. This building is also pursuing aggressive sustainability and social inclusivity targets, making it a one of a kind in British Columbia.” ─ Eleonore Leclerc, Architect, Stantec

“BMO has been a long-time supporter of education, innovation, and preparing young people for the future of work as we recognize these areas are key to fostering a thriving economy and delivering upon our Purpose to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life. BMO is one of the founding donors to BCIT’s INSPIRE Campaign, offering a gift that will inspire the next generation of Indigenous learners and leaders in healthcare innovation. BCIT’s new Health Sciences Centre will be critical to deliver the pragmatic education and skills-based training vital to the economic growth and social fabric of our province.”─ Richard Rudderham, Director on the BCIT Foundation Board and Head of Business Technology Integration at BMO Financial Group

BCIT-Health Sciences Centre
Interior of the innovative Health Sciences Centre for Advanced Simulation at BCIT Artists rendering provided by Stantec

Quick Facts:

  • The new facility will house a number of health-sciences programs, including cardiology, sonography, nursing, pediatric and nuclear medicine.
  • Health-care professions are among the highest in demand in BC, with more than 82,000 job openings expected by 2028.
  • The new centre will be a net-zero carbon emission building, with 60 underground parking ─ stalls all of which will be wired for electric-vehicle charging stations.
  • The building is targeting WELL Gold certification. WELL is a complementary rating system, and portions of the WELL Standard align with LEED requirements.

Learn more about how the BCIT Health Sciences Centre is a new standard for sustainability and wellbeing.

BCIT- New Health Sciences Centre
The new BCIT Health Sciences Centre will be the training grounds for the next generation of highly trained health specialists

Note to media: If you’re interested in interviewing a spokesperson about the new BCIT Health Sciences Centre, please contact Amy Chen, 778-384-7245. High-resolution photos of the groundbreaking ceremony available online.

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