Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Gathering Place Basement Refurbishment

The Details

Aboriginal Education

Investment: $30,000 one time


$30,000 to refurbish the Gathering Place’s worn and under-furnished basement common area. We intend to add a kitchen area that will be run by the students, paint the uninviting walls, cover the cold cement floor, and bring in flexible furniture to create a warm space for group work, individual study, storage of personal items, cooking, and social engagement.


Originally built as a family home, the reinvented Gathering Place is bursting at the seams for space. With Aboriginal Education support worker’s offices and a modern computer lab addition taking up most of the small building, there is minimal room for Aboriginal student group work, socialization, meeting with Elders, and individual time. These are key to an inviting and supportive campus for Aboriginal students.

In the past, half of all incoming TRU Aboriginal students did not return to a second year of studies. In a survey of those students that did not return, the two most-cited reasons for leaving were the student's perception that the campus environment was not welcoming and the student's poor academic standing. Through improved social and study space in the basement of the Gathering Place, we are striving to address both of these issues. Students will feel a sense of home and community, and will be more likely to use Gathering Place support programs and guidance.

The Gathering Place "Cplul’kw’ten" at Thompson Rivers University (TRU) is a friendly and inviting student centre that provides support for Aboriginal students on all aspects of university life and doubles as space to socialize, study or just take a break. It is truly a home away from home for Aboriginal students at TRU.

Anticipated short-term outcomes include:

  • Increased use of the common basement lounge area
  • Preparation of breakfast and lunches by students
  • More students able to use lockers in the basement common area
  • Increased use of university services and resources by TRU Aboriginal students

Anticipated medium- to long-term outcomes include:

Increased retention of Aboriginal students from year one to year two of their studies

  • Increased student confidence and independence
  • Improved results on the National Survey for Student Satisfaction (NSSE)
  • More social intermingling among Aboriginal student from different Nations and cultures
  • Development of a campus culture that is welcoming and supportive of Aboriginal students


Project Expenses


Plumbing Renovation (including a sink and faucet)




Cabinets & Counters






Extension of Personal Use Lockers


Covering of Electrical Panel


Furniture (chairs, desks, dining table)