Building Nursing: 100 Years and Counting

When the School of Nursing opened in 1919, students at the fledgling University of British Columbia crowded into temporary wooden buildings nicknamed “The Fairview Shacks” (now the site of Vancouver General Hospital). On completion of the Science Building on the Point Grey campus in 1925, nursing students moved in with other science students. By 1946, post-war enrolment had increased and overcrowding forced the nursing students into “The Huts”–the recently abandoned campus army barracks. These remained in use as classrooms and then as administration buildings throughout the fifties and sixties. In later years, faculty shuttled between these and classroom space in the Wesbrook Building. Finally, the School of Nursing gathered itself back together and took up residence in the (then) state-of-the-art Koerner Pavilion Acute Care Unit, where it has remained “temporarily” since 1981.

It is fitting that 2019—the centenary of the School of Nursing—is the year UBC took a critical step toward the realization of our new building, an innovative space designed specifically for nursing research and education. Having received Board of Governors Approval, we now enter the next phase of our history. Our proposed new home, in partnership with the School of Kinesiology, UBC Health, and Integrated Student Health, will be located at the NW corner of University Boulevard and Wesbrook Mall, on the prominent Gateway site.