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SFU is building the foundation for a strong, resilient future

Addressing the housing shortage, supporting the future of the healthcare system and expanding spaces for Indigenous students and community members are high on Simon Fraser University's priority list
SFU is building a path for a more inclusive and sustainable tomorrow.

A stronger, brighter and more resilient future for the Burnaby community isn’t solely a theoretical concept with Simon Fraser University’s (SFU) recent construction of their First Peoples’ Gathering House, establishment of their medical school and expansion of their student housing.

Supported by government, business and local community-based partnerships, these efforts to build a path for a more inclusive and sustainable future hold promise to the area’s diverse and growing population.

The First Peoples’ Gathering House

First Peoples’ Gathering House (rendering). Image provided by Simon Fraser University

With a responsibility to illuminate the truth of Indigenous Peoples both in Canada and around the world, as well as chart a path toward reconciliation, SFU has embarked on the construction of their First Peoples’ Gathering House.

The 15,000-sq. ft shared space for students, staff and community members offers a culturally appropriate environment that reflects Indigenous identities for gathering, connecting, studying and working. 

“Upholding Truth and Reconciliation is a priority for SFU — as it is for our provincial and municipal partners — and I am thrilled at the support we have received for the First Peoples' Gathering House,” says SFU President Joy Johnson. “Reconciliation is a shared responsibility, and I am grateful for every partner and collaborator who is helping us build a safe and welcoming cultural space for Indigenous students, faculty, staff and community members.”

With construction already underway, the Gathering House is planned to be completed in 2024.

Establishing a new medical school for B.C.

Image provided by Simon Fraser University

Supported by the B.C. government’s investment to enhance care and access to family doctors where it’s most needed, SFU is in the process of creating a new medical school at their Surrey campus that will have place-based learning opportunities across the province. It will be the first medical school built in the last half century in Western Canada.

SFU is working closely with the Fraser Health Authority, the First Nations Health Authority and other partners to ensure their input influences its program and curriculum development.

“As planning for the medical school continues, we’ll continue to seek feedback, input and expertise as the school’s success will depend upon these genuine and reciprocal partnerships,” says Kris Magnusson, senior advisor to the provost and acting associate vice-president, learning and teaching.

Expanded Burnaby student housing

Courtyard Residence (rendering). Image provided by Simon Fraser University

Providing an additional 383 beds to their Burnaby campus, SFU’s new Courtyard Residence helps address housing pressures in the community that are particularly intense for students.

“There are many advantages to living on campus, so seeing more rooms open for students makes me delighted. It addresses the demand from students who want the opportunity to live on residence, helps with affordability, provides access to education and amenities and is helping to build more community on campus,” says Emmanuel Adegboyega, undergraduate student and president of the Residence Hall Association, who is also looking forward to moving into the new residence in the fall. 

It’s an expansion that is also backed by provincial government support.

“Having the Courtyard Residence open is very important to meeting those needs. And when you look at the architecture, rooms and views, it’s definitely one of the best buildings we have on Burnaby campus.”