New Fanshawe Proposal Headed to Council

An artist rendering of the proposed second phase of Fanshawe College's downtown expansion.

There’s new life in a Fanshawe College proposal to buy and renovate the Kingsmill’s building.

At Tuesday’s Corporate Services Committee meeting, members voted 3-2 in favour of sending the new proposal to city council.

Co-chair of Downtown London Joel Adams gave a presentation outlining the group’s $1-million contribution to the plan, which would lower the amount requested from the city by the college to an additional $9-million on top of the $10-million already committed.

Fanshawe College is contributing $46.2-million to the estimated total project cost of $66.2-million.

The new proposal wasn’t met with any more support than the original plan. Ward 3 Councilor Joe Swan echoed earlier sentiments that he would not support the proposal. Ward 1 Councilor Bud Polhill was the second “nay” vote. Mayor Joni Baechler, Ward 13 Councilor Judy Bryant and Ward 12 Councilor Harold Usher recommended the proposal to full council.

The previous request was defeated in a 7-7 vote by city council.

Although she doesn’t consider herself the swing vote, Ward 11 Councilor Denise Brown hasn’t said which way she will vote on the new proposal.

Brown was present at the meeting and asked to speak with Fanshawe College President Peter Devlin sometime before the city council meeting Sept. 2.

“I still have many, many questions to be answered,” Brown said. “I’m not going to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ today. My ‘yes’ or ‘no’ will be next Tuesday.”

Adams says Downtown London is happy to help Brown with any questions she might have.

“Denise has been putting a lot of due diligence into this. This is a very large project to consider during the summer months of a council that’s ending its term and we’re here and available to answer any questions she has,” says Adams.

If the deal does go through, work on the building would start in the Spring of 2015.