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Fanshawe welcomes provincial funds

Margaret Sheridan | Interrobang | News | February 4th, 2008

As a part of the Liberal government's infrastructure fund, Fanshawe is looking to get a facelift.

Last Tuesday, the provincial government handed out $200 million to the province's colleges and universities, funds that are earmarked to helping the schools repair crumbling buildings, update security infrastructure and make buildings more energy efficient.

It was announced that the college is getting just over $4.4 million to make improvements on campus, which ranks it in the mid-range of Ontario colleges.

“This is coming at the end of our fiscal year,” explained Fanshawe's president, Dr. Howard Rundle. “It's theirs as well, so they probably had a not-bad year and have some money available and they're not looking at such a good year next year with a potential recession in the US that will spill over into Canada.

“So my guess is they use the logic ‘that we have some money,' so let's use it this year while we've got it.”

The college, which has an operating budget of approximately $150 million in the current fiscal year, is not going to turn down the much-needed cash infusion. In fact, the money is more than welcome according to Rundle, considering about 10 per cent of that is set aside for facilities, which includes infrastructure.

“If you look at this campus, not only is upgrading needed, but in terms of the campus we're full,” Rundle said. “There's still pressure to expand. We bought a small business centre down the street, and we didn't get government money to buy that.

“When they say security, they mean all security infrastructures,” continued Rundle. “Two examples of that are we've been looking at upgrading our fire alarm system. We would also like to have an emergency communications system throughout all buildings. At first you think a public announcement system, but we're looking for something more sophisticated than that.”

The money does not have to be spent before the end of this fiscal year, which is March 31, and can be carried over into the next.

By far the biggest gift was granted to the University of Toronto who netted over $25.6 million. The amount allocated to each institution was reportedly based on assessments on a school-to-school basis.
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