The City of Windsor is moving forward with its payment schedule for the University of Windsor’s plan to move students into the downtown core. The plan, which is believed to help revitalize the downtown core, has been anticipated and championed by downtown business owners and residents alike.
The City already approved a $10-million dollar payment to the University of Windsor for their decision to move the faculties of art, music and social work, and the recent city council meeting simply approved a payment schedule.
“We’re very excited and appreciated of the investment that the City has made with the University [which helps] us move downtown,” commented Chief Communications Office for the University of Windsor Holly Ward, adding that the move would help to revitalize the downtown core.
“To contribute to that post-secondary hub that has already been started by St. Clair College and in having the two higher education institutions downtown is going to be a powerful attraction for the city and especially with the partnerships that can be made between the community and the University of Windsor downtown.” commented Ward.
While the move will undoubtedly help to spur economic development in the core, some students and business question the move to the core.
“I think it’s unfortunate…the university has been in the west end of the city since its inception,” commented Dominion House Co-Owner Chris Mickle, adding “I think it’s a shame for the local businesses which have built their businesses around the university and catering to the students, whether it be retail, shopping, food and drink, entertainment.”
University of Windsor student Redeemer Gorges also believes the move to the core is a bad idea because “downtown gets pretty busy and hectic and it’ll be pretty hard [for students] to be able to move around, especially if they have cars, or any sort of motor vehicle.”
Gorges also wonders how the downtown core will be able to accommodate the additional required parking that the students would need. Additionally, he doesn’t think that integrating a transit pass with students’ tuition would help students get around because he doesn’t believe that bus schedules would be able to accommodate school schedules.
Ward emphatically made clear the benefits of the move to the core and stressed that the move would provide opportunities to all involved.
“There’s just so many opportunities when you start by assessing all the amazing things that are happening downtown and the University of Windsor is very pleased to be a part of all of that.” commented Ward, adding, “It puts our social work students closer to the people who they serve downtown and it helps with the access that the community has with those kinds of services.”
Jonathon Liedtke is the Features & Opinion Editor for the University of Windsor Lance Campus/Community Newspaper and a reporter for ourWindsor.ca. As a founding member and current Co-Chair of the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Committee, he is committed to representing, connecting, engaging with and advocating for local youth. He is also a member of Windsor’s “Punk with Horns” band The Nefidovs, and as such, is committed to enhancing and sustaining the arts community.