Brock University interested in downtown Niagara Falls campus

Brock University

By Matt Day, Niagara Falls Review
Friday, October 11, 2013 5:31:56 EDT PM

NIAGARA FALLS – Brock University is actively looking at bringing a downtown campus to Niagara Falls.

Brian Hutchings, the Thorold-based university’s vice-president of administration, confirmed with the Review that city officials and Brock representatives have met to take part in discussions of possibly expanding their International Student Programs.

The news comes a week after it was made public a consultant’s report studying the potential of a downtown Niagara Falls university or college was commissioned by the city.

“I wouldn’t call it negotiations yet, but we’ve had the conversation about possibly going to Niagara Falls,” Hutchings said Friday. “We see ourselves as a Niagara university and a campus (in Niagara Falls) would just be another part of Niagara we are in, but a major attraction for many international students.”

Hutchings, as well as university president Jack Lightstone, first met with city officials, including Mayor Jim Diodati and Chief Administrative Officer Ken Todd, on June 27, before the university had any knowledge of a downtown univeristy report being commissioned, said Hutchings.

He said he plans on continuing discussions over the next few weeks.

The campus would be home to additional programs and wouldn’t take away anything offered at Brock University’s main campus in St. Catharines.

“These would be brand new programs,” he said.

However, Hutchings said it’s too early to discuss the size of the campus, its location, cost of expanding and student capacity.

“We’re still a year or two out, if things happen at all,” he said.

Diodati said Brock University is just one of a number of institutions, both domestic and abroad, that the city has been dealing with.

It’s not just one campus the city is after, Diodati said, but multiple campuses.

“Education is going through a transformation and there’s a lot more working together — more push for satellite campuses and programs,” he said. “They’re not just saying you have to come to university, they’re saying we’ll come to you.”

The university report states there’s enough space to accommodate up to a 5,000-student campus in the downtown area.

“There’s been a lot of meetings and a lot of discussions to get to this point,” Diodati said. “We’ve come pretty far with Brock, they have the formula ready. Although we don’t have a deal yet, we have the intention on having one done.”

(This story is brought to you courtesy of Niagara Falls Review)