Comment 73732

By ScreamingViking (registered) | Posted February 05, 2012 at 11:53:53 in reply to Comment 73721

The fight if any here, should be against what is being proposed in its place by McMaster Univ - who are in a far better position to understand -and- be impressed than the BoEd can ever be, -in-order- to recalibrate their thinking and bring their Liberal Arts College into the core rather than its Medical centre.

I can understand this line of thinking, but I also think what Sigma Cub posted in response is equally valid - social science and humanities do cut across so many other areas of learning (even engineering, though the engineers would never admit it) that it would not make sense to isolate that new building from the rest of the campus.

But I don't agree that putting the medical facility downtown is a mistake, or that it would be "poorly located." In fact, putting it anywhere else would be the error. The largest beneficiaries of that building, beyond the students who will receive their training within, will be the population currently under-served by the health system and unable to access basic care needs. A very visible downtown site, adjacent to main streets and not far from the main transit terminal, within walking distance of a very high density broad demographic of people, is absolutely the correct location and is a fit for one of the biggest Code Red issues.

This is not to say the Board of Education should not be downtown, or that such a core location for it does not also serve to meet another of the Code Red issues. We should have both facilities downtown.

If McMaster is to build new capacity for other faculties downtown, it should be additional to this health care building.

Aside from the Innovation Park lands, which are meant for a specific venture and should remain so (putting the medical building there would have been a mistake, in my opinion), McMaster has very little room to expand in the city. Its main campus is nearly built out, and without replacing any existing buildings, or digging up open space and disturbing the atmosphere of the campus in a major way, the school will likely need to find other land if it wishes to grow within the city. Downtown is probably the prime target for that growth, and easiest to connect to the main campus via better transit regardless of what happens with LRT.

This is not an "either/or" issue in my opinion. An expanded university presence downtown can include medical, arts, social science, and science/tech studies.

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