Aurora College looks at the parcel of valuable Yellowknife municipal land for its newly proposed campus – Tin Kane Hill.
Yellowknife City Council heard an explanation of the proposal at a committee meeting on Monday.
The Council is being asked to vote on whether to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Northwest Territory Government and Aurora College for the new location. This does not imply the prior approval of the Council or the City.
Instead, city manager Sheila Bassi-Gellet said a memorandum of understanding would enable Aurora College to carry out planning and design for the Tin Can Hill location so that they could prepare an estimate that would be used to raise capital dollars for construction in the future.
It will also be the beginning of the land use processes to be followed by the city as mentioned in the Passy-Gellet, Community Plan, Zonal Bylaw and Land Management Act, all of which will involve public involvement.
“Location [Tin Can Hill] It serves the interests of Aurora College in a territory that can meet current and future polytechnic needs, ”said Bassi-Gellet.
Tin Can Hill is a large part of the desert that runs along the Yellowknife Bay, part of Great Slave Lake. Named for the rusty tin cans left by prospectes decades ago – and still in abundance – the area is a haven for off-leash dog walkers, bikers and picnickers.
Bassi-Gellet said the city administration wants a lot of things about this idea.
“It’s close to the city, it’s close to existing municipal services. It’s the perfect use of this spectacular location, which will continue to add public access to the outlying areas.”
Aurora College has been transformed into a polytechnic university and is in the process of restructuring some of its programs.
Its Yellowknife North Slave complex is currently part of the Northern United Place building on Franklin Ave, but according to city administration specifications and the NWT government, the site is “not good enough for a while.”
Place to grow
“In Yellowknife, in particular, the existing facility is an impediment to development,” said Chris Joseph, deputy minister for post-secondary education renewal for the education, culture and employment sectors.
“Northern United Place has been a great partner for our college and will continue to do so for the next few years, but in the medium and long term, we know there is not enough space to build and develop a polytechnic university.”
Joseph said the proposed site would help expand the university, and could put it on the map for residents and students from other parts of Canada.
At the meeting, Mayor Rebecca Aldi, despite being a Yellowknife by birth, says she never set foot on Aurora College campus until two years after returning home from Southern University. He believes not many people know where the current campus is.
“I think most residents can’t point out where our college is, and I think it’s a shame for our northern residents,” he said.
Gown. Shauna Morgan said she thinks the new location will be “a wonderful opportunity” if done “right”.
“My vision is that by taking up a natural space, there is so much beauty that it can create solid programming that is most relevant to students in the North and other parts of the world and in Canada,” he said. .
“I think what we’m considering here is handing over a treasure to Aurora College … it’s a big step.”
According to the context
Joseph said the site will be created in 2023-2024. He said the project could be built gradually.
The area under consideration is over 300,000 square meters, while the track of the proposed Polytechnic University campus is close to 25,000 square meters, Joseph said. The idea is to integrate “body shape with the natural environment”.
Neither the city nor the NWT government currently have an environmental assessment of the site on file. Joseph said it would be a priority to ensure that the site is suitable for the progress of a campus.
He added, “This is not a land grab from the community.”
“It’s about taking a piece of land and finding an application that meets historical applications and community expectations, but does so in a way that maximizes the potential for this site.”
Tin Can Hill has already been designated for development
Yellowknife’s community project represents the Tin Can Hill area for future development.
It is currently listed as a Downtown Central residence, said Charles White, director of planning and development for the city.
“Looking at the text of our community project, it particularly identifies that any secondary institution or educational facility should be located in one of our city positions, so it will meet it,” White said.
Currently the place is zoned as parks and amusements, so it needs to be restructured through a public process, which will bring a decision before the city council, he said.
The Council will return to the topic on June 6 at 7 p.m.