Babel city council has a price tag now on having a satellite university campus in downtown Babel. The city can get a $60 million facility launched if it just kicks in $14 million. That might not be the best deal around but city council would not want to send Laurentian University away mad.
Mind you, the $14 million sounds more like a bargaining position than a final offer. It is not a bad starting point but the deal will not be that simple. There are other players who need to be at the table to make it happen. The Ontario Government has to be the main player with the deep pockets for the deal. The Simcoe Board of Education needs to cooperate so that a rebuilt Central Collegiate can be part of the overall plan. The city will have to do some creative land swaps to do the assembly needed. This will not be done overnight. We are looking at 2020 for just the first students.
And there are Babel residents desperate for some education now. Checking back in the electronic version of the Examiner on this we found the usual set of comments with the story that bespeaks the desperate need. These comments are so predictable as to be pathetic. We already know who will say what. Some of these respondents are talking to each other and the article on which they are commenting is irrelevant. This is like the junk you can read on facebook and twitter. It is the reason we encourage e-mails from readers rather than comment on our blog.
But back to the proposal made to Babel by Laurentian University: yes, we want Laurentian to be a player in a downtown campus. Babel is in the perfect position to be the educational hub for central Ontario but it has to work at it.
What has to happen is somebody has to drive the truck. Someone or some bunch have to make it happen. The mayor cannot give the job the time. He can hardly drive all the objectives he has for this city. He has to delegate.
And city council has to cooperate. It is easy for Babel to stay a one pony town and that is what will happen if we do not move things along. There are too many people at Babel City Hall who can say ‘no’ and not enough who can say ‘yes.’
Now, who is talking to the University of Toronto about having a satellite campus in downtown Babel?
Copyright 2011 © Peter Lowry
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