Current Weather
13.1°C Cloudy 8 km/h
Full Forecast
Tbnewswatch Local News
Friday May 29 2015
10:24 PM EDT
2014-05-11 at NOON

Looking to expand

Confederation College president Jim Madder.
Jamie Smith,
Confederation College president Jim Madder.
By Jamie Smith,

The college is looking for support to get a $10 million project off the ground.

The first phase of Confederation College's new student village would see two 64-bed residences built at $5 million each near a proposed new recreation centre. President Jim Madder said with the city's rental market at near-capacity, the school needs new accommodations, especially as it continues to see an increase in international students. The second phase of the project would see two more buildings if the demand was there.

He's heading to council Monday night to look for support not only for planning but financially as well.  A letter to council from Madder said the college wants the city to consider waiving municipal taxes on the project but it's up to the city how they choose to support it.

"We'll see where the conversation goes Monday night, " Madder said. "That might be the way council decides to support the work that is here."

If all goes well, Madder would like to see the first two buildings open in time for the fall of 2015. Students are holding a referendum later this year to see if they will raise fees from $50 to $100 in order to build a new recreation centre.

Click here to submit a letter to the editor.

Click here to report a typo or error


We've improved our comment system.
reese says:
There was no mention of the operating costs from utilities to security guards
If the students are charged enough it could be profitable
The city might even receive dividends to help pay for infastructure if it is managed properly .The Marriot did not build here to lose money why should the taxpayer
The corporation of the city of thunder bay should be held up to the same expectation of any other corporation
5/12/2014 3:19:51 PM
tnsaf says:
It would appear, from the many comments posted, Mr. Madder should be take some cues. As for his insinuation that forking over money indicates "that might be the way council decides to support the work that is here" puleeze! So, if you get no money it's because Council does not support the College? Some flawed logic!
5/12/2014 11:05:35 AM
Ed itw says:

How many months ( or maybe weeks) is the current residence full to capacity each year?

What is the occupancy rate for the year?

Maybe stagger the start time of your programs before building more dorms to be empty 60 percent of the year. You would also be able to keep your staff busy all year.
5/11/2014 10:16:47 PM
SomeGuy says:
When I went to school there it was 100% occupancy during the school year with a waiting list.

Nearly all the full-time programs start and end at the same time. You couldn't stagger the starting times because it would be a scheduling nightmare.

I remember during the summer it was a hostel also, and when people from up north would stay there during evacuations.
5/12/2014 12:21:18 PM
Dudebro says:
If this guy wants money, then go to the bank and get a loan.
How many bets the college already had a big loan and they need to go looking elsewhere for more money. That should be their clue.
This is BS. Maybe if they're full and running at capacity them maybe they simply need to run like that for awhile and simply say they cannot accept any new students.
Just because your at capacity doesn't always mean you nave to pour money into expansion right away. Especially if you don't have it.
This guy should be ashamed to be asking for money from this city right now. He should know its a bad time.
But, he probably knows the city will side with the poor "education" field and fast track them.
Maybe they can borrow it from the University. If the city funds this then we're doomed. It will then be time we storm council and demand they listen to the public on this crap.
5/11/2014 9:40:18 PM
nvjgu says:
I think Mr Madder is on the sunshine list too Is he not. I'm going to be sitting in on this council meeting that's for shure.
5/11/2014 9:03:12 PM
fan says:
Mr Madder, please refer to the letter to the editor published in the Chronicle Journal outlining your new way of doing business at the College. You'll note, among many cited shortcomings, the conspicuous absence of transparency linked to public accountability. And yet, you have the unmitigated gall to approach the very community whose calls you refuse to return and whose petitions you refuse to acknowledge and ask for support. How about this Sir, you get the same support you have given to individuals and programs at the College.
5/11/2014 2:54:42 PM
joey joe joe jr. shabadoo says:
May as well spend a few million on a "parkade" to park the vehicles of these students too...

While were at it, build a supermarket right on the college grounds so those without vehicles don't have to walk or take a bus to get groceries.

Be sure to put a "shoe store" on the college grounds also for those that do have to walk to their classes & or get groceries...

5/11/2014 2:18:50 PM
ranma says:
With this, the bridge fiasco, the event center, and the proposed dorm for DFC students, do all these people think the city is made of money? We are already in a deficit, and had to use surplus funds. Please, just say no.

If the college wants it so bad, how about they buy some of the older rental units in town. For the price they are asking, they can actually get a considerable amount of apartments.
5/11/2014 2:16:45 PM
Eastender says:
This would be the equivalent of the provincial government,and, or the federal government, (I'm not sure exactly who funds the college),again downloading cost to the city. Why is the city being leaned on for something that is not their responsibility?
5/11/2014 3:31:15 PM
Whodo says:
Look at that, democracy... students get to hold a referendum to see if their fees(like taxes) go up to build a new recreation centre(like Event Centre) .

These kids are getting spoiled...I think we should be preparing them for the REAL WORLD and how it really works out here.

These must be pretty special private units with granite and marble, private showers....
Do the math... he's talking $79,000 a unit..."Thunder Bay Price"?

Have we lost any students coming to Thunder Bay because they can't find housing? Are greedy landlords asking to much rent?

Maybe people in this town need to be renting out their spare space like basements to students so they can afford to pay their high taxes and high water bill, oh and all the other utilities that are going up.

5/11/2014 1:50:23 PM
thunderguard says:
The college is asking to waive municipal taxes for new student housing. That would mean no extra cost to the city but a loss in extra revenue. Would this extra revenue not be made up with extra students? Students add value, an educated work force and spend money in the local community
5/11/2014 1:45:54 PM
S Duncan says:
Thats cute.

If that were in fact true, shouldnt that apply to every taxpayer in Thunder Bay?

The average taxpayer forks over way more than they will ever receive as our tax dollars are used for all sorts of pet projects and welfare services.

The college asking for this is just typical Thunder Bay bad habits. We have a municipal government with megalomaniacal traits. They pretend they can pick and choose who or what projects get our money when the truth is none of them should. They should not even be entertained by council, but councillors enjoy the power trip and feelings of importance.

A real government would shut this down before the third word was spoken, but we have a bunch of people who love to think theyre helping people to buy their way into their own perceived heaven...

...using our dollars.

College should do what it wants with its own money and property, but dont try to take mine.
5/11/2014 3:06:04 PM
Pandora says:
10 Million dollars to build a 128 bed dorm...I think people have just got too used to a million dollars not buying you very much.
Almost $80,000 per bed? Are you on crack?
5/11/2014 1:32:57 PM
nvjgu says:
A big fat NO No No. Half the people working there are on the sunshine list and there asking for tax payer money. City was going to raise tax 1% to cover snow plowing shortfall. This is a joke.
5/11/2014 1:19:51 PM
tsb says:
Let's just close the college to save money! There are no jobs anyway!!

Think of how much money Thunder Bay would save if we all move to Toronto or Alberta!!!!
5/11/2014 12:44:08 PM
Enquirer says:
tsb, are you sure you're not a carpenter?...because you've been nailing these posts all week!!!!1111111

Let me expand on those succinct points: education schmeducation! As per the wisdom of everyone around here AKA the same guy who reposts under 25 different usernames, why can't we just move the entire Canadian workforce into the trades? Who needs colleges for that?! The only way to learn is on a job site, possibly doing a job you don't want to do at ridiculously low compensation.

Making the move to Alberta is a smart first step in this phased plan I know you have drawn up, tsb. Let me extrapolate: Phase I is Albertan amalgamation, next, we need to ensure the entire country joins the USA. What with lower taxes and privatization on things like healthcare and colleges down there, think of all we can save!!!! I know that forcing my peers into crippling debt in the name of education is the only way I know they would appreciate education....unlike this lame plan!

5/11/2014 4:02:27 PM
tsb says:
I couldn't have said it better myself!!! Literally!!!
5/11/2014 10:41:30 PM
brandon says:
What world does this guy live in? Education is a PROVINCIAL jurisdiction, and he is coming to our municipality to support housing which he says is required because there are an increasing number of foreign students coming to the college.

There are so many things wrong with this picture.
Council, please learn to say NO.
5/11/2014 12:34:31 PM
fan says:
And the reason for this increase is simple economics....foreign students pay significantly more than others thus, programs are reconfigured to accommodate this economic factor; good to know that education is more about making a profit than serving the needs of the community.
5/11/2014 4:51:41 PM
Zelig says:
When I was young I thought that I really needed a brand new vehicle. The dealership wouldn't provide financing without a co-signer and when I asked my Dad he just said "No.". I was mighty mad about that and thought he was being unreasonable, but as I grew up I realized that he had done me a tremendous service. If council was made up of people like my Dad, things would be different around Tbay. We've all fallen under the spell of instant gratification and have little or no sense of accountability.
5/11/2014 12:24:05 PM
Comments for this story are semi-moderated. Read our comment guideline.

Add a new comment.
You must log in to add comments.
Create a new account
Log In