Excal.on.ca (Excalibur - York University newspaper)
Aug. 27, 2014
After much deliberation, York in cooperation with Seneca College, has chosen Markham as the preferred location for the potential new York campus.
Markham, Vaughan, Richmond Hill, East Gwillimbury, and Aurora in collaboration with Newmarket originally delivered proposals to York and Seneca.
The new campus was shortlisted for Vaughan, Markham, and Richmond Hill in April.
York announced on June 23 it would be working in collaboration with Seneca College to submit a proposal to the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities to build a new campus in Markham Centre.
“The Markham Centre site is located in the heart of a vibrant new urban centre, close to Ontario’s ‘Big Move’ transit investments and other amenities for students,” says Rhonda Lenton, vice-president academic and provost.
According to Lenton, the size and design of the proposed campus have yet to be determined.
Within five years of opening, the university aims for the campus to hold 5,000 students.
Over the next 20 years, the campus is expected to hold between 10,000 to 20,000 students.
A report to the Board of Governors meeting on June 23 states the new campus is estimated to need 2.4 million square feet at capacity and is predicted to be a $300 to $400-million project.
Lenton says York’s collaboration with Seneca for the project will take York’s strength in student mobility and flexibility to a new level that will benefit new and current students.
“We are thrilled with the opportunity in Markham Centre and it is just the beginning of our plan to be in more locations across the region over time,” said York president and vice-chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri in a YFile article.
Lenton notes the new campus will allow the university to better serve the York Region, which she says is one of Ontario’s fastest growing major urban areas.
Dave Barrow, mayor of Richmond Hill, said in a press release that although he is disappointed the campus will not be in Richmond Hill, he is excited about the possibility of having a campus so close to the town.
“We look forward to working with our neighbours to the east and with the entire York Region community in supporting York University’s bid for a campus in our region.”
Tim Simmonds, executive director for the city of Vaughan says the new campus will create jobs and become a catalyst to future development across the region.
“From an education, economic, and social perspective, this campus is a positive for the entire community,” says Simmonds.
The city of Markham was unavailable to comment on the proposal.
Lenton says the university is working closely with Seneca, the city of Markham, and York Region to submit an “outstanding” proposal that addresses the criteria outlined by the MTCU by the deadline date, September 26.
A decision is expected to be announced in early 2015.