Fanshawe College looking for more city support to fund renovations
Having received $29 million from city hall since 2011, Fanshawe College is about to return with another multi-million dollar request.
The college has applied for $3 million from city hall's Community Grants Program for a project called Innovation Village.
President Peter Devlin describes Innovation Village as a $58 million renovation of the “F Building” and library to create maker space, collaborative space and research space.
Renovations would take place between 2020 and 2024, “The future demands this type of creative look into the future and delivering graduates who will help our industrial base grow.”
Fanshawe has applied to the innovation and capital streams of city hall's Community Grants Program, which is screened by an arm's length review panel.
The annual budget has just $495,543 to be divided between applicants in 2020.
But Councillor Phil Squire says the $3-million ask must be weighed against a growing list of community needs.
"What we could be doing is taking money away from other much-needed things; affordable housing, transit, all of those other things that are core municipal services and giving it to Fanshawe, a provincially funded organization."
But Devlin is confident of the project’s benefits, “I'm sure there are some tough decisions that will have to be made, we are confident in our approach, we are confident in Innovation Village."
City hall contributed a combined $29 million towards the two Fanshawe College buildings downtown, with the expectation students would contribute to the economic activity in the core.
Devlin suggests there are municipal benefits from an investment in the Oxford Street campus, specifically strengthening London's labour force.
"It’s our way to provide the talent that the region needs, industry and businesses, to be able to excel. So this is an ongoing relationship. One we are fiercely proud of.”
Fanshawe is also seeking funding from the provincial and federal governments.
College officials will make a presentation to a city council committee on Monday.