Waggie Alquiros said when he first landed in Calgary just over a year ago he asked, “Where’s Bow Valley College?” People told him that it was by the train station at Calgary city hall and you can’t miss it.
“But for some students, they don’t know that, and it’s been a challenge for most of them,” said Alquiros, who is a part of the Bow Valley College (BVC) Students’ Association.
Alquiros joined others, including the BVC administration, Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek and Ward 7 Coun. Terry Wong in the official renaming of the City Hall LRT station to City Hall / Bow Valley College.
The Student’s Association and the college itself have worked hard to make this happen, Alquiros said. They’d worked with Coun. Wong on this and it was approved as a Notice of Motion in March. This was a huge achievement for them, he said.
“It’s just huge, and it’s really overwhelming,” he said.
“It’s happiness for all of us.”
Dr. Misheck Mwaba, president and CEO of Bow Valley College, said this has been something students and staff had talked about doing for some time. Once he became president of the school, he thought he’d push it further forward.
“I took it upon myself, and said, ‘You know what, let’s see if this advocacy and see where it gets us,” he said.
Mwaba said once he brought it to Coun. Wong and Mayor Gondek it moved very quickly.
“We are honoured to be recognized in this manner,” he said.
“The renaming validates our role in the community and significantly enhances the college’s visibility, aiding our mission to open doors, remove barriers, and provide opportunities.”
Coun. Wong said that much like the Bow and the Elbow Rivers merge together, this station is the confluence of LRT lines in the downtown, from the south and the northeast.
“This is the confluence of bringing people to our downtown core, which is why this is important,” he said.
Large newcomer population among students
Nearly half of the students that attend Bow Valley College are newcomers. Having the station name attached will make it easier for people to make sure they are at the right stop.
“Any time simple changes can be made to have our city be easier to navigate, we need to take advantage of those opportunities,” said Mayor Gondek.
“For the future newcomer students that will ride the CTrain on their first day of class, they can have a lot of confidence knowing exactly where they’re going to be stopping because Bow Valley College is on the station name.”
She said that Bow Valley College has been an important member in the downtown for more than 50 years. It was important to recognize those contributions to the fabric of the area.
Calgary Transit riders will notice the signage change on the platforms and trains. System maps – including those on Google – will also be updated as of the Sept. 19 renaming.
This station joins others like SAIT and the University of Calgary to be named after post-secondary institutions in the city.