Fanshawe moves closer to $10M more from city for Kingsmill's
Fanshawe College is a step closer to securing the Kingsmill's building to add to its downtown campus.
With a deadline of early August, city councillors are being asked to give the college an additional $10 million to buy and renovate the building.
Fanshawe College President Peter Devlin made the pitch to the Corporate Services Committee on Tuesday.
"The Kingsmill's building offers Fanshawe and the city a special opportunity for growth downtown," Devlin says.
The $10 million funding request is on top of the $20 million already dedicated to the downtown campus plan by the city.
In return Fanshawe will more than double the number of students in core to nearly 2,000 in total and transform the Kingsmill's store into the second half of its downtown campus.
Based on the success of bringing 400 students to a newly renovated building across the road from Kingsmill's, city staff have supported the investment.
They added that council could use money in reserve accounts for the project without increasing taxes.
John Fleming, city manager, says "From a planning point of view we thing this an outstanding project for downtown."
But not every committee member was swayed, Councillor Joe Swan points to the results of a consultant's report on the cost.
"The idea we're going to spend $660 per square foot...is cost prohibitive."
Still, Councillor Judy Bryant believes the city can't afford to turn away 1,600 more students downtown.
Ultimately the investment was recommended by the committee four to one and will move on to council next week for a final decision.
The planning committee is also recommending the request that council waive the heritage protection on most of the building's elements, though the college says it will try to preserve the Dundas Street facade.