Fanshawe To Follow Through With Plan For Kingsmill’s

Photo from Kingmill's Facebook page.

Despite a request by mayoral candidate Joe Swan to withdraw its offer, Fanshawe College intends to follow through with its initial plan to buy the Kingsmill’s building.

In a statement released Thursday evening, the college says a significant amount of time was spent reviewing more than 20 potential properties, and the Kingsmill’s building would best meet the needs of the school, the students and the community.

Earlier on Thursday, Swan held a press conference and told reporters he intended to meet with Fanshawe College President Peter Devlin to ask the school to temporarily withdraw its $9-million request of council to help buy the building.  Swan says there are three other property owners in the downtown core that meet Fanshawe’s requirements for expansion.

“The project’s business plan for the Kingsmill property is fair, realistic and financially prudent. To suggest otherwise is without merit,” the college says in the statement.

Devlin says he met with Swan, and is disappointed that the college’s plan for London’s downtown has become “overly politicized.”

“My disappointment is that it’s overshadowing the debate on the benefits of bringing Fanshawe College and a 2,000 student campus to the downtown core,” he says. “I’m hopeful (the city) will reinforce the great partnership that exits, and we’ll be able to move forward.”

With Fanshawe not changing its position on its plan for the property, London City Council will vote on the matter Tuesday night to determine whether or not the city will provide the requested $9-million.

– With files from Tom Fraser