Work, Play and Live: that's the motto around which every plan of the Squamish Oceanfront Development Corporation (SODC) hinges. Now, they might have to add the word "learn" to that motto.
SODC and Capilano University have begun negotiations to swap 4.9 acres of land that would kick-start the process to bring the university to the oceanfront.
On the oceanfront, the SODC has what it calls a "Learning Centre," a patch of land on which it plans to locate the university, which will offer a host of educational programs, from specialized outdoor recreation leadership to fine arts to environmental studies.
The property provided to Capilano University is positioned in the centre of the Oceanfront Lands. It fronts on green space and has Cattermole Slough to the west. In exchange, the SODC would receive lands owned by Capilano University downtown at the end of 2nd Avenue.
Trevor Dunn, a spokesperson for the SODC, said there is no clear date yet on when the land transfer will go through.
"We want to make sure that we satisfy all aspects of this agreement before we announce a specific date or a time for this. It'll all depend on what kind of progress we make in the next few months, but the idea is to have the deal ironed out in the next coming few months," he said.
Dunn said both SODC and Capilano University have been working on the agreement for the past eight months.
"We have been working on it for quite some time now and we want to make sure we are keeping the community informed. The learning centre is that specific place on the oceanfront where the community can come and learn. We also want a young, lively crowd and having a university on the site is the best way to do that," he said.
On choosing Capilano University, Dunn said it has shown commitment to Squamish for a long time and it has also made clear it wants to stay connected with Squamish. Capilano University intends to grow in Squamish and it will add more programs to the oceanfront campus, he added.
"Having Capilano is an important component of the SODC that will lead to long-term value in the community," said SODC Board Chair Bill McNeney.
The Squamish campus dean of Capilano University Chris Botrill was not available for comment.