With a presence already in the downtown core, Mohawk College is planning on permanently becoming neighbours to Laurier and Nipissing. With a number of approvals still needed, the College has set their sights on the 114-year old Expositor Building on Dalhousie and Queen Streets. The plan is to have the building renovated into classrooms for the beginning of the September 2011 semester.
Paul Armstrong, Dean of Community and Urban Studies explained Mohawk already has approximately 400 students in the downtown taking classes at the Odeon Building, and are renting space at the old and new Nipissing buildings.
Mohawk College is currently located on Elgin Street in the middle of industrialized buildings, so the change would be a great improvement.
“The building at [the current] location is great, but it’s not good for the students,” says Armstrong.
Since there are already courses being held downtown, if the plans are finalized, then everything else would come to the downtown at same time.
“We would be able to work much closer to Laurier and Nipissing,” says Armstrong. “I think it would be a better experience downtown.”
The price tag on this project is $10 million, and the College is looking for help from all their levels of government.
“We are working on the details with the city and will need support from all levels of government, as well as Mohawk College.”
Armstrong also asserted that the College would not raise tuition prices, as they are not allowed to, but would use capital resources to fund this project.
If the plans are finalized, Mohawk College would have a purchase agreement for the Expositor Building and would not own it. With 2300 full-time students at Mohawk College, the move, Armstrong states, “would enhance and offer different types of programs, they would be linked, but not in competition.”
Armstrong and Mohawk College have been working closely with the student government and stated that they are positive about the move and the enhanced building opportunities, and having better abilities to develop collaborative ideas with Nipissing and Laurier.
“I think they will continue to grow and that having all three institutions downtown is positive,” Armstrong said.
The reasons behind wanting the Expositor Building is the desire to move to a more urban location, especially one that fits in with Laurier’s vision of using old heritage buildings for further education.
“We looked at a number of buildings, but the Expositor has the space and the room to expand, if we need to.”