The Brantford Centre - Grand Valley Educational Society



The Brantford Centre - Grand Valley Educational Society
The Brantford Centre
Laurier / Mohawk Project
Dedicated to the evolution of Post Secondary Education in the City of
Brantford, Brant County and Surrounding Areas
The City of Brantford, Grand Valley Educational Society, Laurier Brantford and Mohawk
College-Brantford & Applied Arts, wish to acknowledge, and express our appreciation, to the
several groups, organizations and individuals who have provided support to the Brantford
Centre Project.
The success of the Brantford Centre is entirely due to the high level of community effort and
dedication to make this project an academic centre of excellence.
A special thank you to Phil Richardson and the graphics department of Mohawk CollegeBrantford Campus, who were instrumental in the creative design and production of this
booklet—your input and support were invaluable.
This project is funded in part, by the Government of Canada.
The opinions and interpretations in this publication are those
of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the
Government of Canada.
The Brantford Centre
A state-of-the-art, one of a kind facility where college and
university, post secondary, continuing education and
professional development programs will be delivered
using traditional and alternate delivery mechanisms.
Lead organizations: City of Brantford, Grand Valley
Educational Society, Mohawk College and Wilfrid Laurier
Offering programs in the fields of Public Relations, General
Arts and Science, Graphic Design, Digital Arts,
Communications Media, Packaging Design, Journalism,
Video Journalism, Indigenous Studies and Criminology
Located in downtown Brantford, including up to120,000 sq.
ft. upon completion of Stages I, II and III
A multi-disciplinary centre that will be the only one of its
kind in Ontario
Innovative, unique, university/college, community
Where the
community is
not just a
place, but a
Programs offered at the Centre will last from one year to five years in duration and will
Collaborative or joint degrees to meet employer and student needs
Interconnected linkages between degrees, diplomas, post-diploma and post-degree certificates,
and professional designations
Articulated university/college programs included in the current Laurier/Mohawk agreements allowing students to achieve both a degree and a diploma over 4 years (two plus two programs)
Our Mission
To work collaboratively together to foster a unique array of
university-college initiatives that will allow students to combine, in a
seamless way, college and university programming
The Brantford Centre
What is the Need for a Centre?
The demand for post secondary graduates is increasing on a local, national and international
A severe shortage of skilled and knowledge workers in the area has hindered growth, productivity, expansions and profitability of existing companies
Industry is looking towards community colleges and universities, with a focus on employability skills training, to meet their labour needs
The new globalized economy has created a need for workers who have the basic communication, critical thinking and problem solving skills needed to adapt to quickly changing circumstances
There is a commitment from all partners in the alliance towards the rejuvenation and rehabilitation of Brantford’s downtown buildings and facilities
Provides the potential to increase individual lifetime productivity and sustainability of employment
Will be the catalyst to economic development for existing business, and a major attraction for
new business to the area
To add another dimension to the spirit of Brantford! To assist in growing from a very traditional manufacturing enterprise to a more diversified structure focused on communication
and a knowledge based economy coupled with advanced manufacturing concepts and practises
Our Vision:
To offer high-demand, high-employability programming, designed and delivered in a complementary college/university format
To continue to play a major role in the revitalization of downtown Brantford. To work with existing older buildings, many of which have configurations that, although not readily suited to private sector uses, are ideal for academic centres
To share resources and facilities necessary to maintain and manage current articulations and,
perhaps more importantly, allow for new initiatives
The Brantford Centre
Project Steering Committee
In 1996, the Brant Community Futures Development Corporation commissioned a business plan for the
establishment of a university in Brantford. This plan became the catalyst for community discussion that
culminated in the establishment of a Brant University Steering Committee in 1997. It was this commit tee that presented an official proposal to Wilfrid Laurier University in 1998.
The Steering Committee was formed to formalize a project partnership with key players including; City
of Brantford, Mohawk College, Wilfrid Laurier University and the Grand Valley Educational Society. Each
representative on the committee was the liaison between the project and their respective organization.
Members ensured to keep their organization appraised of issues and challenges faced, and propose
Their initial mandate was to focus on the project concept and identify issues such as programming, cost
parameters of immediate capital projects and future expansion of the Brantford Centre.
Further, they have been instrumental in drafting and submitting proposals for funding support from
Human Resource Skills Development Canada for supplementary support positions and activities.
Working closely with City officials, the Project Steering Committee identified potential sites for the centre in downtown Brantford. From selection to appraisal, the committee saw a strong vision for the rejuvenation and improvement of our downtown core .
This vision was further enhanced as the committee secured financial commitment in principal from contributing project partners. Like the pieces of a puzzle, each component was closely interconnected with
the next stage of the vision.
Their mandate continues to be focused on the evolution of post secondary education and the revitalization of our downtown. In an advisory capacity, they continue to focus on all aspects of the Brantford
Centre including;
Academic buildings
Architectural renderings
Financial support (public and private)
Student Services
Project Steering Committee 2004-2005 Members
Don Radford
Betty Anne Jackson
Leo Groarke
Doug Baker
Tracy Arabski
Tracey Pawlik
Kim Walker
City of Brantford
Grand Valley Educational Society
Laurier Brantford
Mohawk Brantford Campus
Laurier Brantford
Mohawk Brantford Campus
Mohawk Brantford Campus
Grand Valley Educational Society
Incorporated in 1996, the Grand Valley Educational Society is a notfor-profit organization dedicated to the establishment and expansion
of post secondary education in Brantford and Brant County. As a
community-owned, charitable organization, one of their primary
mandates was to promote and raise funds for a private university.
The Grand Valley Educational Society is comprised of community
representatives from a cross section of business, industry and education, both public and private. They were instrumental in achieving
a university presence in the City of Brantford and raised $2.1m to achieve this goal.
Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo expressed an interest, and on June 29th, 1998, signed a
Declaration of Intent (along with GVES and the City of Brantford) to establish a satellite university in
downtown Brantford by the fall of 1999.
The Grand Valley Educational Society has also played an instrumental role in promoting a unique partnership among;The City of Brantford, Mohawk College, Laurier University and the GVES. With an exciting alliance established between Laurier Brantford and Mohawk College-Brantford Campus, the Grand
Valley Educational Society continues the goal of promoting lifelong learning. Their efforts are a vital
energy as they lobby, advise, educate and solicit support as campuses and student services continue to
grow to meet student demand.
The common thread among all members of the GVES is their strong community commitment and
involvement resulting in collaborative, creative and innovative ideas and solutions.
Grand Valley Educational Society 2004-2005 Directors List
Vice President
Past President
Colleen Miller
John Wilson
David Prang
Vern Gale
Doug Brown
Caryl Ann Browning
Dr. Leo Groarke – Laurier Brantford University
Stuart Parkinson
Vyrt Sisson
Doug Baker – Mohawk College, Brantford Campus
John DeDominicis
Betty Anne Jackson
Guiditta Poelzl
Jan Tyrrell
The City of Brantford
The Brantford Centre initiative is consistent with the City’s multifaceted
urban renewal and rejuvenation plan. As a result, The City of Brantford
has been an integral driving force and made the establishment of post
secondary educational facilities in its downtown, a primary focus of their
renewal plan. These facilities have already played a significant role in
the redevelopment of the downtown and promise to provide the area with
a new socio-economic focus and purpose.
To further compliment this development, the city is also pursuing the
development and upgrading of a variety of related, complementary
municipal services, including the Public Library, Recreation Centre
and the development of the Civic Square.
This urban renewal and rejuvenation plan has been a proven and solid benefit to the revitalization of
downtown Brantford. Further, with the commitment of City funds to the Downtown Business
Performance Grant Program, there has been substantial innovation and improvement from the private
sector in support services, such as student residences.
City support has been in the form of:
providing buildings/land
financial commitment
assisting/expanding services
Mayor Mike Hancock
Marguerite Ceschi-Smith
John Starkey
City Council 2004-2005
Ward One
Ward Two
Ward Three
Ward Four
Ward Five
Larry Kings
Mike Quattrociocchi
John Sless
Stephen Lancaster
Greg Martin
Dan McCreary
Richard Carpenter
Dave Wrobel
Marguerite Ceschi-Smith
John Starkey
Carnegie Building
73 George Street
Assessed Value of Building: $462,000
The City provided funding for this initial facility to house the University as
• $1.3 million forgivable loan to the University to undertake renovations to
convert the building from its original function as the City’s main library.
• The City contributed $25,000 annually to its operating costs to 2002, and provided the
building rent-free, until 2005 when it transferred title of the property to the University
for a nominal sum together with a further grant of $50,000.
Grand River Hall
171 Colborne Street
Assessed Value of Building: $2,000,000
In 2002 the City transferred the title to Grand River Hall to the University at no cost.
• $1.6 million interest-free forgivable loan for the costs of conversion of the fourth and
fifth floors to student residences.
• $400,000 repayable loan for fixtures and equipment.
• $1.0 million in repayable loans for the costs of conversion of the third
floor to student residences.
• $625,000 in grants for renovation and improvement costs to the first
and second floors.
Post House
41-47 George Street
The City provided funding to the University as follows:
• $1.5 million interest-free forgivable loan for renovation and conversion
• $100,000 grant to pay outstanding municipal and school taxes owing at
the time of acquisition.
Office Building
58 Market Street
The City provided funding in the amount of $359,000 to convert this former bank building to modern office space. The City uses the building
rent-free and assumes all operating costs until such time as the
University requires the building for administrative purposes (Fall of
Student Union Building
103 Darling
Student Union/ Laurier Brantford
The City provided a grant in the amount of a $564,697 for construction
costs of this $2,058,000 building project which is to be completed in September
The Heritage Block Project
111-119 Darling Street
Laurier Brantford
Athletic, recreational and residence space
Phase I of II
The City provided funding in the amount of $900,000.
Mohawk College
Brantford & Applied Arts
Mohawk College has been the cornerstone to post secondary education in Brantford since
1970. The BRANEIDA CAMPUS was formally opened March 5, 1970, and, since it’s opening
has provided a close link between the people of Brant County and the College.
Establishing itself as educational centre of excellence, Mohawk College was the first
Canadian Community College to offer co-operative Education—the Industrial
Management Technology—combined classroom work with practical on-the-job experience.
The name MOHAWK COLLEGE Brantford Campus was chosen in 1966 to reflect the special
nature of the large area of Brant County, including the Six Nations and New Credit
Reservations; parts of the region of Haldimand-Norfolk; and the county of Wentworth.
In 1979 Mohawk College purchased the Braneida Campus and in 1984 a new wing was
opened at the Braneida Campus and the name was changed to the Brant-Elgin Street
Campus. The increased number of high skills programs, the new CAD/CAM laboratory, and
other shops, and the diploma courses made this campus of Mohawk College a full range, post
secondary educational campus.
In 1989 Mohawk College received $6.2 million to expand the Brant-Elgin Street Campus and
this expansion was officially opened on September 16, 1992.
Traditionally, Colleges did not often provide a transition to university, where students may
move from one institution to the other. However, throughout the years Mohawk has dedicated itself to the pursuit of realistic and viable partnerships with industry, business and universities to position itself as a proactive leader in post secondary education.
Currently, Mohawk College Brantford Campus employs 68 full time staff and faculty, 86 part
time staff and faculty to service 1200 full time and 2100 part time students.
The Evolution
Former TD Bank Building
58 Market Street
Odeon Building
50 Market Street
Laurier Brantford
Funded with a grant from the Carnegie Foundation,
Brantford’s George St. library opened on July 4,
1904. The building remained the Brantford Public
Library until December 1991. After extensive renovations by MMMC Architects, Wilfrid Laurier
University – Brantford Campus officially opened the
doors of the Carnegie Building in September 1999.
Many members of the Brant community played an
important role in bringing the university to
Brantford. They include the members of the Grand
Valley Educational Society; the Chair of GVES,
Colleen Miller; the Mayor of the County of Brant,
Ron Eddy; and the Mayor of Brantford, Chris Friel.
Within the university, it was Professor Terry Copp
of the History Department who first suggested to
the President, Robert Rosehart, that Laurier
should create a satellite campus to meet
Brantford's needs.
Currently, Wilfrid Laurier’s Brantford Campus
employs 50 full time staff and faculty and 60 part
time staff and faculty to service who serve
almost 1000 full time students.
Laurier Brantford
Grand River Hall
Grand River Hall is a 5 storey, mixed use building originally built
by Massey-Ferguson in the early 1980’s, then used by Holstein
Canada and other tenants, prior to the City of Brantford and then
Laurier Brantford assuming control in the late 1990’s.
The lower two floors house classroom and office space, a large
student lounge, as well as the Laurier Bookstore, and the offices
of Nipissing University – Brantford Campus.
The top three floors are newly renovated 4 and 5 person apartment suites, in a mixture of single and double rooms. For 20042005, there will be 40 first year students on each floor, for a total
of 123 students.
Post House
Located at the corner of George and Dalhousie Streets,
_ block from the Carnegie Building, this newly renovated building was formerly home to a number of different
businesses including Holstein Canada (who also occupied Grand River Hall), and the original Brantford Post
Office, from where its name is drawn.
It houses 57 students, including 3 Residence Life staff
members, all in single rooms in an apartment-style setting. The building has 3 floors with 3, 4, and 7 bed units.
Student Centre
Fo rm e rly the Wyatt, Purcell & Stillman
Building, located at the corner of George
Street and Darling Street, it is anticipated that
the new Student Centre will be open in
September, 2005.
It will provide a meeting place for students
and a home for the Laurier Brantford
Student’s Union, and offer a variety of Student
Services (Counselling, Special Needs, Health
Services, Academic Support, etc.)
The Brantford Centre
The Brantford Centre is a proposed $24 million, three stage, academic centre that will combine
communications, technology and design through a partnership of the private sector, the local
community, the City and the College and University in conjunction with the Province.
In addition to the obvious benefits of combining the academic strengths of two well-respected
educational institutions to meet strong student demand for graphics and communications programs due to the high employability of graduates, the proposal is seen to be a driver of economic growth and downtown revitalization.
Stage I - The Odeon
Stage I, September 2004:
50 Market Street
• 18,000 sq. ft., including classrooms, labs, mini studio, offices, student lounges
The Odeon reconstruction project was made possible through the partnership of Wilfrid Laurier University,
Mohawk College of Applied Arts & Technology, and the City of Brantford. This building is a cooperatively
developed project with multiple levels of direct and indirect community-based support.
The Odeon will accommodate classes for over 600 Laurier and Mohawk College students, with four large
lecture theatres, two medium-sized classrooms and one computer lab. Also, the building will host administrative and faculty offices, along with a common lounge for students, faculty and staff.
Built in 1947 as a movie theatre and vacant since 1998, Laurier acquired the building from Vicano
Construction. Peter Vicano, owner of Vicano Construction, brought forth the unique and innovative concept
of converting the Odeon into a 20,000-square-foot academic facility. Throughout the reconstruction, Vicano
has worked closely with Mohawk and Laurier to construct a building that meets all the needed specifications
The Brantford Centre
Stage II - 50 Wellington
Stage II, 2006:
50 Wellington Street
• 30,000 sq. ft., including classrooms, computer labs and offices
In September 2004 the RFP for architectural renderings of Stage II was awarded to The Ventin Group Ltd.,
Architects. The plan for 50 Wellington is to create an academic facility of 30,000 Square Feet.
To ensure the full utilization and efficiency of the building, a user group was established with representatives
from both Laurier University and Mohawk College. The mandate of the User Committee was to identify;
space requirements and utilization, potential programming and student services for the centre.
2004-2005 (50 Wellington) User Group Committee
Tracy Arabski Leo Groarke
Ron Baskin Nancy Fleming
Annette Chretien
Maija Saari
Ken Dowler Greg Unrau
Kim Walker
The Brantford Centre
Stage III - 39 Nelson
39 Nelson Street
Stage III, 2009:
Potentially 39 Nelson
• 60,000 sq. ft., including
labs, performance &
presentation atrium
Stage II
50 Wellington Street
The Brantford Centre
From Left::
Doug Baker
• Executive Dean, Mohawk College of
Applied Arts & Brantford Campus
Dr. Leo Groarke
• Dean, Wilfrid Laurier Brantford
Mayor Mike Hancock
• City of Brantford
Betty Anne Jackson
• Grand Valley Educational Society
The Brantford Centre
In any unique and innovative project, there is always an opportunity to improve and enhance what
we are already doing exceptionally well. For the Brantford Centre Project, we have been able to
identify some key opportunities that we intend to take full advantage of!
The opportunity to provide another dimension to the spirit of Brantford…
Our goal is to be a catalyst in the evolution and transformation of Brantford. To assist in growing
from a very traditional manufacturing enterprise to a more diversified structure. A structure which
will focus on information, communication and a knowledge-based economy coupled with advanced
manufacturing concepts and practises.
• Brantford is redefining and diversifying their image and the Brantford Centre will play a key role
in this evolution
• As Brantford is still exploring the many avenues of diversification, the area is still "young" and
many opportunities have not yet been explored or perhaps even envisioned
• Part of Brantford’s "uniqueness" is the heritage associated with the architecture of our older
buildings. The Brantford Centre is focused on the rehabilitation of these older buildings, which
is generally less expensive, uses more local resources, creates local jobs, minimizes the creation of construction waste and increases surrounding property values. To date, the downtown
campus has maintained the irreplaceable quality that exists in the architecture of these buildings, and preserved the visually rich and aesthetically pleasing atmosphere
• The economic, cultural and social fabric of Brantford will grow as a result of the addition of
approximately 2,500 students, 90 faculty and administrative staff associated with the Centre
The opportunity to increase lifetime productivity…
This initiative goes beyond the development of Brantford and surrounding area. It provides a critical
focus on benefits and opportunities for our workforce
• The Brantford centre will be able to provide area employers with a readily available, flexible
and high value source of labour (full and part time) that will be able to meet recruiting
demands in addition to special or short term project requirements
• The unique transferability of credits and the ability to simultaneously obtain a degree and
diploma will provide students with both short term (immediate skill) and long term (competency skill) investments. A perfect blend of practical application coupled with competency proficiency
• Addresses the shortage of post secondary graduates and skilled workers
• Provides youth with the opportunity to transition from school to work in demand occupations
• Statistics indicate that individuals that possess a university degree increase their lifetime productivity and probability of finding and retaining employment
The Brantford Centre
The opportunity to enhance established identities of excellence…
Both Mohawk College and Laurier University have an established reputation of excellence. The
Brantford Centre Project will capitalize on this solid foundation and establish an academic centre that
will strive for a heighten level of recognition and prestige on a local, national and international basis.
Consider the following key benefits:
• Provides the local population more choices in pursuing post secondary education (from high
school to adult learner)
• An impressive IDENTITY OF EXCELLENCE attracts students provincially, nationally and
• A solid student and graduate base from programmes of excellence, will attract new business
to the area, based on the accessibility and availability of a high quality talent pool
• As the Brantford Centre is forged from a community alliance, the academic centre will continue to establish and maintain significant linkages with various groups, organizations and businesses within the City of Brantford, Brant County and surrounding areas. These alliances and
partnerships will facilitate the continued focus of developing our intellectual resources
The opportunity to propel economic development…
In a highly competitive and global market, economic development of the city, county and local business is a primary concern. The innovative programming and educational opportunities provided to
students will allow both Mohawk College and Laurier University to attract, develop and retain the
best talent. This in turn, drives a strong economy through;
• Drawing in students from an international pool, expanding our multi-cultural base and resulting in both direct and indirect expenditures by these students
• An increase in the student base that will result in increases in facilities, faculty and staff, again
providing direct and indirect expenditures
• Statistics clearly indicate that universities and colleges provide areas with stable buying power
• Through knowledge and innovation based learning, post secondary education is a catalyst to
industry, and the key to success is to identify the most effective way to blend academics with
industry demands
• By closely aligning themselves with the private sector, the Brantford Centre will effectively
compete with other institutions and organizations for revenue key to their sustainability
• The Brantford Centre will be a key attractor for new business to the area, as employers will
want to capitalize on the availability of graduates and our skilled and motivated labour force.
This combination of availability and skills is a principal determinant of economic prosperity
Private Investment
160 Colborne Street
22 beds (Private)
Athenia Residence
17 beds (Private)
159 Darling Street
4 beds (Private)
Lawyer Hall
30 beds (Private)
Commercial Hotel
25 beds (16 WLU & 9 Private)
156 Colborne Street
30 beds (Private)
Y Housing
26 beds (Private)