Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

The Reach

For over 45 years, TRU’s campus has been constantly growing and strategically evolving. TRU has become more than the sum of its buildings, green spaces and pathways; it has become a community — a place to learn, live and play.

On Nov. 14, 2011, TRU announced that a new corporate trustee, TRU Community Trust (TRUCT), will manage development on TRU property. Building on the 2003 Campus Plan, which recommended greater density and sustainability, TRU refined its master plan in 2013 to reflect the campus expansion of the last decade and to set the state for future development tied to the new academic plan, research plan, enrolment growth and the TRUCT initiatives.

Frequently Asked Questions

 What is The Reach concept?

During consultations to update the Campus Plan it was proposed that property development at Thompson Rivers University should enhance campus life for the university’s students and add vibrancy to the campus for all who visit it. A concept similar to UniverCity at SFU and the University Village at the UBC Endowment Lands provides opportunities to incorporate features that might include: market-based residential housing (strata), student residences, retail shops, restaurants, professional offices, and student assembly space. Such mixed-use development with housing and services within walking distance of TRU’s academic zone and constructed to TRU’s high standards for sustainability, will create a campus environment that students, staff, faculty, and community members will enjoy, whether studying or working, visiting or living on campus 24/7. It would also provide an additional income stream that could be used for student support or other university needs.

 Why now?

TRU, to serve its students and to fulfil its role as the leader the knowledge based economy in Kamloops and region, now needs to develop infrastructure befitting a modern university including research facilities, housing for graduate students, and space for the development of public-private centers for developing and applying new research.

 What is the TRU Community Trust?

The TRU Community Trust (TRUCT) is a corporate trust, wholly owned by TRU, created as a separate legal entity for development of TRU’s real estate. It is modeled after similar property trusts in place at Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia.

 Why is TRU using a trust?
  • The TRUCT will be engaged in commercial activity with a mission that will include making profits to be used for student assistance endowments, research and other university initiatives. If the University were to engage in commercial activity itself, it could lose its status as a non-profit charity.
  • TRU is part of the Government Reporting Entity and cannot borrow funds to establish The Reach. As an independent corporation, TRUCT will not be subject to this requirement.
  • The trust limits potential liabilities because TRUCT is a separate corporation from TRU and is solely responsible for its own liabilities.
  • The trust is intended to focus on development, so it must have expertise in the special areas (property development, venture capital, business, marketing, and related skills) that are necessary to take The Reach from concept to reality. It is not reasonable to expect our Board of Governors to do this since they already have substantial responsibilities for the overall governance of the university. However, control of the property trust will be established by parameters set out in the trust documents by TRU’s Board of Governors.
 Who will be on the TRUCT?

The plan adopted by the Board of Governors is to form TRUCT’s Board of Directors with 11 members. Five internal members that will include a member of the TRU Board of Governors, the President, the Vice President Administration and Finance, a faculty representative and a student representative. Six external members will be selected by the TRUCT Board of Directors itself, ratified by the TRU Board of Governors.

 What land will be involved?

The 2013 TRU Campus Master Plan, approved by TRU's Board of Governors in February 2014, identifies a number of possible land uses. These include land dedicated to research, university support services, recreation, academic, student residences (undergraduate and graduate) and long-term development potentially in partnership with the private sector. Zoning has been proposed to establish areas for supporting enhanced research levels, more-varied on-campus housing, and new academic buildings.

 What will happen to the profits?

TRU and the TRU Foundation are the beneficiaries of the trust. Property development should generate revenue that will support university purposes, such as scholarships, bursaries and research.

 Who was consulted?

The TRU Board of Governors consulted with students, faculty, staff and the community. As the concept is developed, further consultations will include all of the above plus the TRU Community Trust, the City and the developer as stakeholders.

 What input can I have to the type of development that takes place?

Through the 2013 Campus Master Plan exercise, the TRU Board of Governors consulted with students, faculty, staff and the community on several occassions and in different formats. As the concept was developed, further consultations included all of the above plus the TRU Community Trust, the First Nations, the City and the developer as stakeholders.

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