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Algoma University creating campus master plan

Future development outlined as part of $38M budget in 2019-2020
20190328-Algoma University exterior-DT
Algoma University will create a campus master plan to direct infrastructure development over the next year. (File photo) (Darren Taylor/SooToday)

Algoma University has approved the creation of a campus master plan that will outline future development at the Sault Ste. Marie-based school as part of a $38-million operating budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year.

The university has hired the Sault firm David Ellis Architect Inc. to create the plan, which will cover Algoma’s Sault and Brampton campuses, “including the development of conceptual designs for a National Training Centre to support Algoma’s mandate and mission for cross-cultural teaching, education and awareness,” the school said in a May 1 press release.

Additional collaboration will come from the Toronto-headquartered IBI Group, which has done master planning exercises for York University and the University of Guelph; Brian Porter of Two Row Architect, an Indigenous architect from the Oneida Nation, whose work includes Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig’s Anishinabek Discovery Centre currently being built adjacent to Algoma University; and Trina Cooper-Bolam, who will provide historical guidance on Indigenous design elements for the project.

The school is calling for a number of other campus improvement projects, including enhancements to Student Success Central, the SpeakEasy, Algoma University Student Union Offices, computer labs and the campus bookstore, among others, the release noted.

Work is also being done at the Sault and Brampton campuses for the School of Business, which announced a major infrastructure project last year. The firms NorMech Engineering and STEM Engineering are supporting the project in Brampton.

Algoma said the budget is based on enrolment growth of roughly 20 per cent, and concentrates on four primary priorities: enhancing student life, expanding student experiential learning opportunities, support for the university’s special mission, and continued enrolment growth through enhanced strategic enrolment management practices.

“The 2019-2020 Algoma University budget reinforces our commitment to being a student-centred university while moving forward our transformational vision for continued enrolment growth and institutional development into the immediate future,” said president and vice-chancellor Asima Vezina in the release.

“The budget demonstrates the university’s ongoing focus on enhancing the student experience while supporting teaching, learning and research excellence and innovation. It will also support our continued commitment to being a leader in truth, reconciliation, and healing in Canada.”