Ontario Construction News staff writer
Construction started last week on the new Zekelman Centre of Business and Information Technology at the St. Clair College Windsor campus.
The unique design includes the erection of two floors adding 40,000 sq. ft. of space to the southwest wing of the campus.
The $23-million expansion will feature classrooms, student study areas, meeting rooms and offices for faculty. A large auditorium, called Alumni Hall, and Canada’s first Esports Arena will be the centerpieces of the new build.
President Patti France described the project as one that distinguishes St. Clair among other post-secondary institutions of its size.
“This Centre will give our students the resources to study in a space that provides them with vast opportunities to learn and grow.”
Funding will come from the college, student fees administered by the Student Representative Council, the school’s Alumni Association and the Zekelman family, for whom the school is named.
“We are thrilled to finally break ground and commence the construction of what will be the area’s predominant school of business,” said Barry Zekelman, chairman and CEO of Zekelman Industries, North America’s largest independent steel tube manufacturer.
“The Zekelman School of Business and Information Technology will provide a platform for future entrepreneurs to launch their careers and pursue their dreams. We are proud to have our name associated with such a great community institution.”
The Zekelmans have created jobs and economic growth as well as supported countless charities and causes in Windsor and Essex County, through the Stephanie and Barry Zekelman Foundation.
“We are honoured to have the support of the Zekelman family,” France said at the ceremony. “The business acumen Barry Zekelman brings to the table is immeasurable and our students are fortunate to be able to attend an institution that continues to raise the bar in post-secondary education.”
Many of the 5,000 business students will continue to attend the Zekelman School of Business and Information Technology, located at One Riverside Drive West.
The Alumni Hall Auditorium in the new Zekelman Centre will be used for guest speakers, lectures and other events that require such a space.
“To finally have a modern building to call our home is pretty exciting,” said James Marsh, Dean of the Zekelman School of Business and Information Technology. “It will allow us to grow further.”
The new Esports Arena will be the first of its kind in Canada, setting the bar not only in Canada, but internationally for collegiate esports facilities. “St. Clair College is leading the way,” Marsh said.
SRC [resident Jorge Gutierrez Calzada said he is excited about the refurbishment and expansion of a Student Centre that was originally constructed in the 1990s.
“I believe that this addition to the college will be beneficial for everyone as it will provide more available space to study and to feel more welcomed and comfortable here at St. Clair,” Gutierrez Calzada said. “This centre will add more value to our future students when they are deciding which college to attend as well.”