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College buys apartment building in Kirkland Lake for student housing

Northern College said the decision was made due to the area's housing crunch
From left are Kirkland Lake campus manager Drew Enouy, plant and property manager Stephane Lefebvre, chief cultural officer Susan Hunter, Northern College board of governors chair Jeff Molyneaux, Kirkland Lake Mayor Stacy Wight, and acting Northern College president and CEO Mitch Dumas.

Northern College is boosting the housing options for its students in Kirkland Lake.

The college has bought a 6,000-square-foot apartment complex. Once renovations are complete, 13 rental units will be available for students. 

“The ability for students to locate affordable accommodations is continuing to play a role in their decision to pursue post-secondary education,” said Mitch Dumas, acting president and CEO of Northern College, in a news release.

“Northern last owned and operated a traditional residence facility in Kirkland Lake in the early 2000s. Up until recently, local rental units have met the demand, but this has shifted in the past couple of years and this investment is representative of our broader approach to further support our students.”

As soon as the college secures a contractor, the building will be renovated to turn a former medical clinic space into three multi-bedroom units — two two-bedroom apartments and a three-bedroom apartment. One of the two-bedroom units will be barrier-free. 

"The building currently has tenants in several units and Northern will not displace those existing tenants,” said chief cultural officer Susan Hunter.

"These units will receive the same upgrades as the units set aside for students and as those tenants vacate, more openings will be available to students in the years to come.”

Northern College is headquartered in Timmins, but has satellite campuses in Haileybury, Kirkland Lake, and Mooseonee, as well as a number of access centres through the region.

— TimminsToday