College makes pitch for million-dollar commitment 0
COLLINGWOOD -- Georgian College is asking the town for $1 million over four years to help build its Collingwood campus.
Brian Tamblyn, the president and CEO of Georgian, said the "strategic priorities" of the municipality and college mirror each other, including expanding and encouraging the local economic base, and having a permanent location for a post-secondary campus.
The college has maintained a campus in Collingwood for 26 years; Tamblyn said it has moved about 10 times.
"It's been difficult to find a permanent facility," he said.
Last year, the college was donated property at the corner of Raglan and Poplar Sideroad by developer John DiPoce; that was followed up by a $4 million grant from the federal government to cover half of the $8-million construction cost of the campus.
Tamblyn says the area municipalities will be hit up to cover $2 million of the difference, and a fundraising committee will be looking for another $750,000 from the community.
The college will pay the remaining $1.25 million.
The campus building will be 20,000 square feet, with nine classrooms. Tamblyn said there is room on the property for two additional buildings in the future.
However, he cautioned, the progress of adding to the campus could hinge on whether it gets municipal support.
"We know it's difficult times -- but if we don't get the support, life carries on, but it will be a long time paying off the
"We know it's difficult times -- but if we don't get the support, life carries on, but it will be a long time paying off the campus."
campus," he said, noting that will affect the ability of the college to pay for additions in the future.
The current campus has about 80 full-time and 1,100 part-time students, and Tamblyn expects those numbers to triple when the permanent facility opens in September.
The college is also trying to develop a couple of "marquee programs" that would only be available at the Collingwood campus in order to attract students from outside the region.
The college also wants to establish a community advisory committee for input on program priorities.
Tamblyn said the college is essential, especially as a convenient, affordable post-secondary facility for local residents. Deborah Haight, a nurse at the General & Marine Hospital, touted the benefits of the local campus as a graduate of the campus' academic upgrading programs.
That allowed her to get into the nursing profession.
"If we didn't have the campus here, I don't know if I would have realized my own dream," she said.
Deputy-mayor Rick Lloyd said the campus has the full support of council; however, he cautioned Tamblyn that the municipality may not be able to support the campus financially until the municipal's own finances are determined.
Council withheld its decision until a future date.