Wilfrid Laurier University is committed to moving forward with their intent to build a campus in the Milton Education Village. A representative from the University provided an update to Milton Council on Monday night that outlined their working plans to move forward.
The Province of Ontario announced its cancellation in October, citing fiscal concerns. It was a refusal Finance Minister Vic Fedelli repeated earlier in the day alleging the previous government of overspending by $40 million/ day. “It’s unfortunate that people got their hopes up for false promises,” Fedelli said. The province has final approval over university locations.
“We are all ready to move forward, Laurier is not going away,” said Milton Mayor Gord Krantz. “They are already here and growing in our community.” Laurier is a partner in the Milton Education Village (MEV) Innovation Centre, which, offers both classroom and administrative office space in the building for the last several years. This physical presence in Milton has allowed Laurier to offer some local programing, collaborate with local businesses and engage with the community in meaningful and innovative ways.
Laurier is partnering with Conestoga College on the Milton Education Village. Conestoga College President John Tibbits attended the council meeting on the college’s behalf. He describes his school’s role as “separate but equal. “It should be more than a university campus,” he told council.
In addition to preparing a strong business case for the Province, Laurier has created a two phased approach to bring their Milton campus to life. Phase one is underway as Laurier prepares to bring a mix of degree and non-degree programming to the community in Winter 2020 with classes located at the MEV Innovation Centre.
Phase two will consist of the development of a physical campus including a full campus master plan. They have already retained the services of an architectural design firm: Diamond Schmitt Architects. The MEV lands are located along the west side of Tremaine Rd south of Derry.