Conestoga College announces plans for Downtown Kitchener campus

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Photo by Emily Waitson

On May 31, Conestoga College President John Tibbits and Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic announced plans to open a new campus inside the Market Square location in Downtown Kitchener.

The 82,000 square foot campus is set to open in January of 2020 and will aid in accommodating Conestoga College’s growing international student population. The campus will host primarily business classes upon opening before expanding its programming into further disciplines as the college continues to grow.

The campus will be located in the heart of Downtown Kitchener, at King and Frederick streets, with easy access to all the amenities the city has to offer; including the new ION train which travels directly past the front doors of Market Square.

The announcement of the new campus is the most recent in a series of expansions Conestoga has been making over the past years. While as of now the Market Square space will be rented by Conestoga, there are hopes for a more permanent residency in the future.

The new space will be mutually beneficial for both Conestoga College and the City of Kitchener. Conestoga will receive the space needed to accommodate their substantial growth and the influx of students in the area will drive local business revenue as well as Kitchener’s rental market.

“They can just literally step outside the front door and within walking distance there’s all kinds of restaurants and services,” said Tibbits in an email statement.

The central location of the campus will eliminate the need for food services and other student resource infrastructure to be built inside the new campus.

The rise in the student population within the area will lead to  an increase in housing demand — new students will need accommodations that are closely situated to their campus or easily accessible by public transit.

Over 2,000 new housing units are planned for construction in the downtown core and the campus’ close proximity to the ION train will allow for students who live further from the campus to quickly and easily commute.

“We’re tremendously pleased to have the opportunity to open this new campus,” said Tibbits.

“We look forward to working with our partners to provide students with an outstanding learning experience in Downtown Kitchener.”

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