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Wednesday November 23rd, 2011

Posted at 3:15pm

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University of Windsor President Alan Wildeman (Photo by Chris Richards)

This afternoon, the University of Windsor confirmed that it will go ahead with the purchase of the Windsor Star property at the corner of Pitt and Ferry Streets in downtown Windsor to become the new home of the University’s School of Social Work, and the Centre for Executive and Professional Development (CEPE).

A feasibility study was completed by CS&P Architects to reimagine the property for the University of Windsor, and as a result, the Board of Governors voted in favour of the purchase on last evening.  The announcement was made today by Dr. Alan Wildeman, President and Vice-Chancellor, during his keynote address at the annual general meeting of the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce.

“The purchase of the Windsor Star property is the first step in the University of Windsor’s plan to transform the landscape of our campus to more firmly anchor our commitment to being a student-centred university. This acquisition is part of the broader vision to support the priorities identified in our strategic plan with capital projects. Our campus will change dramatically as opportunities are identified and new construction replaces out-dated facilities that no longer align with the vision for our institution,” said Wildeman.

The university also plans to relocate its Music and Visual Arts programs, and Film Production to the Armouries building in downtown Windsor thanks to the City of Windsor’s capital donation in addition to $10 million in funding, and the provincial government’s contribution of $15 million.

The School of Social Work is comprised of approximately 830 students, faculty and staff who currently work with several agencies downtown. Dr. Wildeman explained why this program will need to be relocated as part of the master plan, “Moving the social work program downtown presents an opportunity to significantly broaden the bandwidth between important academic programming and the needs of our community.” He also noted the central location of the Windsor Star building between St. Clair College’s Centre for the Arts and its Mediaplex building as an opportunity to create synergies between the two institutions.

Architectural designs for the new Social Work and CEPE facility, and the Armouries and will be released in the months to come.

Some of the other changes identified in the master plan for the University include the need for a centralized welcome centre, a consolidation of student services into one building, a new home for the bookstore, reconstructing the south wing of Essex Hall and finalizing plans for an Innovation Centre combined with a new parking structure at the corner of Wyandotte and California.

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