The Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT) is British Columbia's First Nations university with campuses in Merritt and Vancouver. NVIT was formed in 1983 as a private institute by the founding bands of Coldwater, Nooaitch, Shackan, Upper Nicola and Lower Nicola. The Merritt campus has grown from an initial intake of 13 students who received their instruction in a downtown basement, to an intake of more than 300 students located in a Governor General's Award winning facility — to which this new building is attached.
The Merritt Fire Zone is one of seven fire zones that make up the Kamloops Fire Centre. It is the largest fire suppression zone in the province, responding to an average of 92 wildfires annually. The new facility, with a floor area of 1,332 square metres, houses an expanded Merritt Fire Zone office and the Provincial Wildfire Training Centre. It provides space for up to 58 staff, storage areas for firefighting equipment and three classrooms to support field training.