Comment 73727

By Sigma Cub (anonymous) | Posted February 05, 2012 at 10:51:17 in reply to Comment 73721

Well, the Ward 1 & 3 councillors were absent the Aug 2011 funding commitment vote, so who knows where they stand.

Regardless of what goes on that lot, the change would likely still require a municipal incentive in the tens of millions, and possibly still involve the demolition of 100 Main East. The thumbnail that the university has discussed so far would be a 104,000 sq ft building with -- stop me if you've heard this one before, non-fans of glass-clad medical centres -- an open-concept, glass-encased first floor lobby -- and enough expanded capacity to allow for 1,275 more students. That's a 5% growth in total student population and around a 15% growth in social sciences/humanities students (if you assume that they'll be the exclusive beneficiaries of that expanded capacity). And it's all hanging on a dollar contribution from a provincial government that, in the sunniest reading, will take spend the next five tears trying to emerge from its monstrous deficit.

People get hooked on the Arts part of Liberal Arts, but this isn't exclusively about the arts. It's about social sciences and the humanities, with combined undergrad enrolment predominantly non-humanities (just as, within humanities, enrolment in traditional humanities departments such as Art and language are the odd (wo)man out. This building is envisioned as being a crossroads for campus synergies. WIthout serious transit connectivity to a site 5km east, that synergy would be lost.

"The Wilson Building for Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences will feature a wide range of flexible spaces for teaching, learning, research and performance, all equipped with cutting-edge technology. At least 13,000 students will use the building, *including those from faculties whose education includes courses in the liberal arts.* At 104,000 square feet, the building will create space for 1,275 more students on campus, in keeping with the province's post-secondary attainment goals. The project is to commence in 2012, with construction anticipated to begin in 2013. The building will be located at the main Hamilton campus, at a location close to students studying in the humanities and social sciences, with access to parking to enhance community participation in the activities of the building."

Like the downtown campus, the Wilson Building has been in planning for a long time. This has been public since 2007, the year before Burlington approved city funding for its downtown McMaster health campus.

Maybe Hamilton can learn something from that example.

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