College campus renewal

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The old college campus has been around for over 100 years

Article: Taylor Rattray – Contributor

The University of Regina’s historic campus is located just off College Avenue, near downtown Regina. While existing for over 100 years, this campus is currently undergoing what is known as “Building Knowledge – The College Avenue Campus Renewal Project”. On this campus, The College Building, The Conservatory, and Darke Hall will be restored and collectively known as the University of Regina Leadership and Outreach Centre (LOC).

The person in charge of the College Avenue Campus, Wanda Deschamps, U of R Associate Vice-President of Development, says, “…The goal is to transform the campus into a renovated, revitalized, and vibrant and accessible center for learning. It’s really the place where the university and the community really come together due to the nature of programming. It’s not accessible currently and that’s a real barrier.”

Deschamps says that the College Avenue campus “…was founded as Regina College in 1911 and has a long and varied history, and Darke Hall is a really important part of the history associated with Regina College, [including] the generosity of the Darke family, through which Darke hall was built. Part of the restoration is to restore Darke Hall back to the kind of performance venue it once was.” She also states that, “the buildings will also be updated to current learning standards.”

[pullquote]“…we’ve already received private donations totalling close to four million, including a million dollar gift from an anonymous alumni, and a variety of other gifts.” [/pullquote]

On Oct. 18, the U of R launched the community phase of the project. This is “when we invite the general community to participate in the project. So far we have focused on leadership gifts, nature gifts, and [gifts from] our family,” Deschamps articulates, “[These were] gifts over a quarter of a million, gifts over one hundred thousand, and gifts from our family members, faculty, staff, senate. So by launching the community phase, we’re inviting the public to join and support the project and bring us our ten million dollar goal to conclusion”

This $10 million goal is the fundraising goal portion of the estimated $58 million dollar total cost to revitalize the College Avenue Campus. As for the fundraising portion, Deschamps articulates, “we’ve already received private donations totalling close to four million, including a million dollar gift from an anonymous alumni, and a variety of other gifts.” She says they “will raise the balance through a variety of fundraising meets, and have a number of gifts currently under consideration and will be moving those to close.” The rest will be through other means, such as a mail campaign and some other varieties of methods that will reach out to the broader community.

The buildings on the College Avenue campus will “continue to be the home for the Center for Continuing Education and the conservatory…and the programming that delivers through [those buildings] will continue to be offered” states Deschamps. These programs include the Lifelong Learning Center and Distance Education. College Avenue will also be the central home to the Public Policy School, which is currently spread out between Research Drive and College Avenue.

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