Sheridan College is getting $72 million from the province to expand its Mississauga campus but still plans a fundraising drive to pay for a new residence and student centre as it nearly triples enrolment.
With the $72 million already set aside for classrooms, Sheridan president Jeff Zabudsky said fundraising will be needed to help finance the residence and student life centre needed to absorb future enrolment of at least 5,500 students.
“We at Sheridan have our own ability to raise funds and set aside savings,” Zabudsky told YourMissisasuagaBiz.com.
“We’ll probably be nailing that down in the next couple of months.
The college recently sent out a request for qualification for Phase Two of its campus in Mississauga’s downtown core, looking for companies in a private-public partnership to design, finance and build the new additions to the campus.
“It’s the start of the tendering process for the construction company we’ll be partnering with,” Zabudsky said. “We kind of call it Phase 2A.”
A second phase was always in the college’s expansion plans for the Hazel McCallion Campus on City Centre Dr. near Square One.
“Even before opening the first campus we demonstrated we were going to be full for enrolment,” Zabudsky said. “And the provincial government announced they would support phase two of the Sheridan campus in May 2011.”
Sheridan said building more capacity would also allow the college to expand the number of international students, which currently stands at 17 per cent of its 18,000 student enrolment – about 3,000 people.
“We foresee that number going even higher,” Zabudsky said. “There’s some upward opportunity there because it brings us a global perspective, a new revenue stream and even the prospects of new Canadians someday.”
The college president said the current focus on Mississauga really took hold about five years ago with the advent of stimulus funding from the federal government and the provincial government’s willingness to match the dollars.
But Zabudsky also said the new campus builds on the history of the college in Mississauga. “We grew Sheridan College out of a small campus in southern Mississauga in Lorne Park that was transformed when the college system was created,” he said.
While over the years Sheridan has continued to have a presence in Mississauga, Zabudsky said they were always temporary or leased spaces and never really a permanent home. “Long before my time, we had been advocating to find a place and get the support to build a campus,” he said.
Zabudsky said the expansion is going to be considerably larger than Phase One, which measured 160,000 square feet. “Phase Two will be close to 200,000 square feet or perhaps even more,” he said of the building, expected to open in September 2015. “We’re excited because we’ll have more than double the building when it’s done on that plot of land.”
Zabudsky said the new project would allow Sheridan to accommodate in excess of 5,000 to 6,000 students, a dramatic increase from the current population of 2,000 students on campus.
“We’re excited about it because it lets us develop to a critical mass where we’ll have a campus population in Mississauga as we do in the other two campuses in Brampton and Oakville,” he said.
While the overall provincial investment was increased to $72 million, up from the $60 million originally promised, Zabudsky said the college has not yet determined how much funding they will need to contribute as well. “Until you get the tenders in, it’s hard to know the exact amount,” he said. “But I suggest the building will be getting close to $100 million.”
Zabudsky said the new project would also free up space on the other Sheridan campuses in Brampton and Oakville. “We’ll certainly have increased capacity to serve the need of our domestic students,” he said. “More students who otherwise can’t get into our program because we’re at capacity, we’ll have many more students getting in.”