Niagara College plans to triple its on-campus student housing over the next four years at its campuses in Niagara-on-the-Lake and Welland.
The college unveiled its plans last week for adding new living spaces for about 1,000 students, with construction to commence early in the new year.
The school said its expansion is driven by commitments to improve student experience and success, and to address a growing shortage of housing in the communities the college serves.
Niagara College now has on-campus residences for only 200 students at the Daniel J. Patterson Campus in Glendale and another 228 students at the Welland campus.
“As more and more students from across Ontario and around the world are drawn to Niagara College, we recognize the need to expand capacity and options for on-campus living,” said college president Sean Kennedy.
“Our plans support the key priorities in our strategic plan and reflect our enrolment growth and the evolving needs and expectations of our students,” he said in a statement.
He also acknowledged that a significant expansion of on-campus student housing will help to address the need for affordable housing across Niagara.
“Our timelines are aggressive and reflect the urgent need for more housing for students and the broader community,” said Kennedy.
The college also will continue to work “with private and public partners in Niagara to explore additional housing solutions.”
In addition to new residence buildings, the plan also includes renovations and improvements of existing on-campus residences to expand capacity and enhance students’ experience.
The college has year-round programs for more than 10,500 full-time students in over 130 diploma, graduate certificate, apprenticeship and bachelor’s degree programs.
The college also has more than 3,000 part-time students each year, who study in more than 600 credit, vocational and general interest programs.
Steve Hardaker has lived in Glendale for over 13 years and is active in many community organizations.