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McMaster Confirms Downtown Health Campus on Board of Education Site

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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By Fred Street (anonymous) | Posted March 23, 2012 at 14:56:42

Blimey!

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By Lakeside (registered) | Posted March 23, 2012 at 15:11:29

Does this mean that the legal matter between the City and Yale has been resolved/dropped?

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By ScreamingViking (registered) | Posted March 26, 2012 at 23:24:46 in reply to Comment 75411

No - this lease doesn't involve the city.

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By TDR (registered) - website | Posted March 23, 2012 at 17:44:06

The bastards! They won't stop till they destroy that beautiful building.

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By DowntownInHamilton (registered) | Posted March 25, 2012 at 21:34:52

Glad to see this project moving forward, not getting mired in red tape and posturing to put a modern, efficient building in, rather that getting humg up saving a semi-old, semi-new, unappealing building downtown.

Comment edited by DowntownInHamilton on 2012-03-25 21:35:25

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By Billys (anonymous) | Posted March 25, 2012 at 21:39:26

insult spam deleted

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By JT (anonymous) | Posted March 26, 2012 at 11:32:48

The city and the school board finally came to their senses before McMaster pulled the plug on their Health Campus. The school board building looks tired like many building in the downtown. This agreement will help that corner of the city.

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted March 26, 2012 at 23:03:10 in reply to Comment 75439

What are you talking about? Where does it say the city and the school board agreed to anything?

This announcement makes it seem, to me anyways, like McMaster and the university decided on swing space, without the city's involvement. Essentially doing an end-run around the city.

Now the question is, will HWDSB still look for location opportunities in the core, or will they end run around the city and end up at Crestwood?

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By ScreamingViking (registered) | Posted March 26, 2012 at 23:19:58 in reply to Comment 75446

Wasn't the "swing space" issue supposed to be worked out this way? An agreement between Mac and the school board, without city involvement?

I thought that the city was surprised they were looped into the issue at the last minute when it became a hang-up to making a deal?

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By TnT (registered) | Posted March 26, 2012 at 23:08:57

People may have tired of this issue, and they look at it as though any change is good. I can understand this to some extent, but not in a scorched earth style. I do not have an architectural background, or the ability to create a mock-up on the computer, to create a visual design of what it would look like to incorporate the old building into the new. Maybe this is something that city council and MacMaster could get behind. I’m sure that is quite a longshot, but still not something that is beyond the pale. I felt very sick when I watched the federal building come down. This is something that will make me feel even worse. Something is not right about this. I’ve seen the over sights of the city and I know that there is enough empty land in the core of this size and footprint that easily are either owned by the city, or could be expropriated. I really don’t know what the real appeal of this particular corner is. If anyone knows, it would really help me out.

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted April 01, 2012 at 13:18:32

The Fraser Institute has released its report on the 2010-2011 academic rankings of Ontario secondary and elementrary schools. The results for the Hamilton secondary schools are dismal. The 2010-2011 rankings of thirteen of the seventeen Hamilton secondary schools have declined over their previous five year average ranking. Fourteen of the seventeen Hamilton secondary schools are ranked below the provincial median ranking: http://ontario.compareschoolrankings.org...

The quality of Hamilton secondary school education is sinking fast. The Hamilton Wentworth District School Board and the Hamilton Separate School Board have some explaining to do.

Comment edited by RenaissanceWatcher on 2012-04-01 13:30:15

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