By RTH Staff
Published March 23, 2012
McMaster University just issued a press release announcing that it has resolved the issue of swing space with the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) and will proceed with developing a new downtown health campus on the site of the Board of Education building at 100 Main Street West.
Here is the press release in full:
McMaster Downtown Health Campus Moves Ahead
Hamilton, March 23, 2012 - McMaster University's downtown Hamilton health campus has reached a significant milestone. The Hamilton Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) and the University have solved the challenge of finding swing space for the Board's headquarters so the campus project is able to proceed at the Board's current location at Main and Bay Streets.
HWDSB will temporarily relocate its offices to three nearby locations in the downtown core.
"I am pleased that this solution will allow the downtown campus to move forward," said city manager Chris Murray. "It also provides time for the School Board and the City to complete the work of the task force on HWDSB's future administrative headquarters. The City's next step will be to focus our efforts on finalizing plans with respect to the future of Public Health accommodations," added Murray.
When the idea of finding swing space that could be shared between the School Board and the City's consolidated Public Health space was first proposed it appeared to be the perfect solution. However, with an aggressive timeline, reaching such an agreement proved to be far more complicated than anyone would have anticipated. McMaster's need to meet its commitment to have a location to train doctors by July 2014 also meant timing was crucial.
John Kelton, McMaster's Vice-President and Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, has been focused on finding a way to bring the benefits of the campus to downtown Hamilton. "The people of Hamilton deserve the very best healthcare and the downtown campus will become a hub of healthcare delivery, teaching and research that will benefit thousands of residents. That goal helped strengthen our focus on finding a solution."
"We are pleased these complex negotiations have reached a conclusion. We believe this solution reflects the creative thinking required in a complicated process," said HWDSB Chair Tim Simmons.
McMaster's Downtown Health Campus will see 54,000 patient visits a year, provide physicians to 15,000 residents currently without a family doctor, serve 4,000 students and be home to 450 McMaster employees.
HWDSB Education Centre staff will move into space at the Standard Life Building, the Stelco Tower and the Robert Thompson Building.
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