Welcome, one and all, to Trinity Western House.
Trinity Western University opened the doors to its new public space in Fort Langley during an open house, held at the same time as Saturday’s Cranberry Festival.
The open house was limited due to a power outage.
Previously known as The Bedford House, Trinity Western House is located at 9272 Glover Road.
“This is a new concept for Canadian universities and the first university community house of its kind in the Lower Mainland,” said Scott Fehrenbacher, senior vice president of external relations for TWU.
Trinity Western House will be open noon to 8 p.m. from Tuesdays to Sundays and will have staff and volunteers on site each day.
It includes a large room with a capacity for up to 30 people and a smaller community room, the Spartan Faithful Lounge, with space for up to 16 people to meet or watch livestreaming of TWU sports events.
In addition, there are patio tables to extend the seating outside.
Food and beverages won’t be sold at Trinity House because it isn’t competing with Fort Langley’s coffee shops and eateries. Rather, it’s a public meeting place, where students, and the public for that matter, can come in and unwind.
At Trinity Western House, people can watch TWU sporting events on big screen TVs, or learn more about the university.
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Fehrenbacher said Trinity Western House was not a purchase nor an acquisition, but “an agreement that was made between the university and the Township.”
“It’s a one-year agreement,” he elaborated. “My understanding is the Township owns the building and the historical society helps them manage it.”
He said one of the reasons behind Trinity Western House is that the university does not have the integration into the community that it should have.
“This allows us as a member of the community an opportunity to not only provide a service for our students in Fort Langley but also an opportunity for the community to connect with the university in a convenient way for events, for services, and just to come across our students,” Fehrenbacher said.
Fehrenbacher noted that Trinity Western House will not compete with local businesses but instead leverage the “consumer power of our students” in a way that helps Fort Langley merchants.
“It’s a stereotype that a… student goes into a coffee shop, buys an Americano, and sits at a table for two hours doing homework, and then that takes away from any opportunity the business owner has,” Fehrenbacher said.
Trinity Western House has “blazing fast internet,” Fehrenbacher noted, and he encourages TWU students or anyone from the public to drop by “and just hang out.”
Fehrenbacher added, “we have worked closely with the Township on the development of this space and are excited for this new strengthened partnership with our community.”
The vision includes plans for this space to help foster a bigger live local music scene with outdoor concerts facing the river or indoor coffee house style concerts to showcase local talent.