University pledges funding
In light of the 2015 Pan Am games in Toronto, the town of Milton — a community within the Greater Toronto Area — has come up with a business plan that will commit to the development of a new velodrome in their proposed education village. Since Wilfrid Laurier University has been eyeing that spot as a potential new campus, the school has agreed to contribute approximately $2.5 million to the construction of the facility.
“[Milton] put together a business plan and that includes financial contribution from the host municipality and business plan for Milton, included a potential contribution of $2.5 million in capital funding from Laurier,” explained Brian Rosborough, director of government relations at Laurier Toronto.
However, just like the potential campus itself, the contribution from Laurier is dependent on a number of things. Laurier has been waiting for the government to decide which locations they will give funding for a new undergraduate campus and if WLU receives that campus they would essentially “reimburse” or pay their contribution to the town.
“It’s [the velodrome project] dependent on the velodrome going forward and being built. It’s dependent upon us building a campus there and what the commitment is that if we do go ahead and get a campus there we will have the opportunity to buy into the project for that figure,” Rosborough added.
Though this decision isn’t definite, Laurier is still looking to use the velodrome — which may also include indoor courts and a fitness centre — as a possible athletics facility that can be shared with both the students and the community.
“If we get the green light to build a campus there we have the opportunity to invest 2.5 million dollars in capitial funding which will make us a capital partner in the facility,” he continued.
Jim Butler, vice-president: finance at WLU, echoed many of Rosborough’s statements, “It will be a legacy from the Pan Am games and there will be other uses. It could be students and the community, not to unlike what we’re doing in Waterloo with the athletic complex.”
He added that he doesn’t know where it will exactly be located and none of the operating arrangements have been formulated. Exactly where funds will be taken from is also uncertain, and a decision will be made by the board of governors if this project is confirmed.
“That would be a decision that would have to go to the board of governors when this decision is made. So there’s no plan at this point as to where that has to happen,” asserted Rosborough.
As for the Milton campus as a whole, Rosborough hopes that this agreement with the potential velodrome builds the on-going relationship between the institution and the town.
“I think there’s a real synergy between these kind of facilities and university campuses,” Rosborough concluded.
“Pan Am facilities being built have a life after the Pan Am games, there’s a practise of putting them in place along with university campuses as potential partners.”