As an ex-officio member of the LEDC Board of Directors, I had the privilege this week in taking part in a presentation by executives of Fanshawe College where they laid out their future plans for The School of Applied and Performing Arts.
WOW!! If this isn’t the most significant and powerful addition to our downtown since the opening of the JLC – I don’t know what is.
Because of its limited capacity at its main campus, the move to a college campus in downtown London not only aids Fanshawe in its need for more space, but it could very well be the best shot in the arm you could ever hope for as it relates to the downtown. Furthermore, this project could do more for the preservation and sustainability of some of London’s more treasured heritage properties than anything this city has ever seen or perhaps ever will.
And talk about synergies! This project will act as a magnet for drawing students downtown as well as college staff and others to go to school, attend theatre and artistic productions, take part in community events, shop, dine, socialize and the list goes on and on.
Just think of it, a minimum of 1500 new students in the downtown core, over 75 staffers and many hundreds more attracted to the various events and programs the facility will offer.
With the College putting up $20 million of its own money against the estimated $30 million cost, it’s little wonder that the LEDC Board of Directors voted unanimously in support of this project. Let’s hope Council can demonstrate the same foresight and vision in support of this much needed project.