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Laurier Campus in Milton

rdaner

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Wilfrid Laurier University plans new campus in Milton, Ont.

ELIZABETH CHURCH

EDUCATION REPORTER

April 1, 2008

Wilfrid Laurier University, eager to make the most of the expected skyrocketing demand for higher education in the Toronto area, is working with the booming community of Milton, Ont., to put a full-sized campus in what are now farmers' fields.

Plans for the creation of an "education village" on 60 hectares of undeveloped land were presented to Milton Council last night. The report did not name Laurier as the partner, but the university confirmed to The Globe and Mail late yesterday that it has signed an agreement with the city to explore options.

"The growth in the [Greater Toronto Area] in terms of university-age students certainly makes it clear that we need to respond in terms of building capacity," said Max Blouw, president of the university based in Waterloo.

"Laurier does have successful experience in establishing satellite campuses ...We know how to do this and we have done it reasonably well."

The Laurier campus proposal is the first major expansion plan put forward in response to predictions of a huge jump in demand for university spaces in the Toronto area. Forecasts estimate that between 40,000 and 75,000 new spaces will need to be created in the coming decade.

That swell of demand is in sharp contrast to other parts of the country and regions of the province where enrolment is expected to remain steady or decline.

The growth in Toronto is fuelled by a burgeoning urban, increasingly immigrant population likely to encourage their children to go on to higher education.

Laurier, which has about 15,000 undergraduate students, has undergone a rapid expansion in the past decade, opening a satellite campus in Brantford and relocating its school of social work to a new site in downtown Kitchener. It is currently developing a plan for for the next 30 years.

Dr. Blouw said the Milton proposal would allow the university to expand without losing its small-campus atmosphere. He said there is little room to grow on the landlocked Waterloo site."The population pressure in the GTA is very significant and it is moving westward," Dr. Blouw said. "Queen's Park needs to address the population pressure for university seats. This will be one more thing to throw in the mix for consideration."
 

Kong Tower

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I'm glad Laurier is looking to into building a campus Milton, when they can't stop their Contract Academic Staff from striking. Its been going on for almost 2 weeks now.
 

Hipster Duck

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What is the impetus for all these satellite campi? I'm not an expert in university administration, but my gut feeling tells me that the creation of each new satellite campus requires the creation of support staff and infrastructure that doesn't make economic sense.
 

canrocks

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What happened to the lot that Milton set aside for a university campus right beside the GO station??
 

ShonTron

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What is the impetus for all these satellite campi? I'm not an expert in university administration, but my gut feeling tells me that the creation of each new satellite campus requires the creation of support staff and infrastructure that doesn't make economic sense.
Laurier-Brantford made some sense, and I think they should be expanding there instead of this dumb Sprawlhole-by-the-Escarpment location. Milton doesn't even have a large student base that could be drawed upon, nor does this Britannia/Tremaine location at all convienent for students to commute from places that do, like Oakville, Brampton and Mississauga. Meanwhile, Brampton has lots of space available near its downtown, and is desperate for anything - a Variety Village, a new hospital, a post-secondary institution, anything - to go in at the old OPP grounds right off Queen Street, its main drag, or in the declining industrial area south of Queen between downtown and the 410.

Waterloo is going absolutely nutty with it's idea of satellite campuses in Stratford and MCC, never mind the inspired, but not completely thought out, architecture school in Galt and the pharmacy building in Kitchener (at least they can draw upon the mother campus).
 

waterloowarrior

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What happened to the lot that Milton set aside for a university campus right beside the GO station??
that's the one they are trading with mattamy

from the Star

Milton goes for Laurier campus TheStar.com - ParentCentral - Milton goes for Laurier campus
Town does land swap, gives Waterloo university three-year window to commit to earmarked site
April 01, 2008
Paola Loriggio
Staff Reporter

Wilfrid Laurier University is one step closer to opening a satellite campus on the outskirts of Milton after reaching an agreement last night with the town.

The Waterloo university has up to three years to determine whether it will put down roots on a 60-hectare parcel bordering the Niagara Escarpment, just southwest of Milton, according to the memorandum of understanding.

"They have the first shot at the land," said Mario Belvedere, Milton's chief administrative officer. "After that, we'll give it to whoever can get the funding to build a campus."

Though no commitments have been made so far, the university could take action before the three-year deadline if it musters enough interest and support, said Max Blouw, university president and vice-chancellor.

Blouw said the new campus would help fill the need for post-secondary education in Ontario, particularly the area around Milton that's experienced a population boom over the last decade.

"In the GTA, the cohort of university-age students is expected to explode for the next 20 years or so," he said. "We're meeting a need."

Milton originally offered a range of post-secondary institutions the chance to build a campus on a 2-hectare site downtown, by the town's GO train station. But no one took the bait, citing the plot's insufficient size, Belvedere said.

In the end, the town partnered with Wilfrid Laurier University because it showed the most enthusiasm for the community, he said.

The town approached the university to offer the 60-hectare parcel that it obtained through a land-swap with a residential developer, Mattamy Homes.

The company, which built the Hawthorne Village development in Milton, struck a deal to trade the larger parcel for the smaller one downtown.

Last night, Milton council approved the land exchange, along with a series of measures to prepare the campus site for development. The town is responsible for getting the land rezoned to house a campus, while the university's job is to secure funding from the province, Belvedere said.

Development on the Niagara Escarpment is restricted for environmental reasons, but Belvedere said the earmarked site lies outside the protected zone.
 

Hipster Duck

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Laurier-Brantford made some sense, and I think they should be expanding there instead of this dumb Sprawlhole-by-the-Escarpment location. Milton doesn't even have a large student base that could be drawed upon, nor does this Britannia/Tremaine location at all convienent for students to commute from places that do, like Oakville, Brampton and Mississauga. Meanwhile, Brampton has lots of space available near its downtown, and is desperate for anything - a Variety Village, a new hospital, a post-secondary institution, anything - to go in at the old OPP grounds right off Queen Street, its main drag, or in the declining industrial area south of Queen between downtown and the 410.
Tell me about it. Large institutions should be located in centralized areas that already have convenient access to services - not just transit, but food, housing, you name it. Everybody loses when it's put out in the sticks. The city has to build the infrastructure (roads, utilities) and plan for future growth. The university has to rush the construction of new buildings that could probably have been brownfield conversions if they were located in downtown Brampton or Oshawa. Then they have to plan for another registrar's office, or admissions office or central plant or anything that could have been easily centralized at the main campus. Finally, the students get a third rate educational experience - either commuting 2 hours to a far-flung site from their parents' house or living in some LoPo penitentiary-style student housing on the site (cafeteria to be built later!). They go to the tiny library and find out that the book they need is on reserve in Waterloo. Oh joy!
 

unimaginative2

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The problem is that students tend to be the last consideration when planning these things. Laurier is going on a new campus binge because its Waterloo site doesn't have much room for growth and is somewhat overshadowed by U of W. I think they want to get closer to the GTA to raise their profile. The lot is big enough for a full-size university campus. I suppose it's possible, though hopefully not likely, that WLU will shift its main centre of gravity to Milton 30 years hence.
 

CDL.TO

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Geez, that's a terrible location. Middle-of-freaking-nowhere.

Finally university students will able to share my highschool experience... the smell of freshly spread manure in the morning. Yay!
 

afransen

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Waterloo is going absolutely nutty with it's idea of satellite campuses in Stratford and MCC, never mind the inspired, but not completely thought out, architecture school in Galt and the pharmacy building in Kitchener (at least they can draw upon the mother campus).
You're forgetting the nuttiest... a campus in Abu Dhabi.
 

vistaway

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The good news to come out of this swap is that Mattamy now has the brownfield lands near the GO station. I would imagine they could move quickly with retail, office and/or residential (the latter unlikely due to the location next to the tracks and surrounded by light industrial/commercial). Their commercial division has a great track record of 'urban' designs.
 
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