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Yes, recently Ron Joyce donated money to help kick start the campus at Burlington.

On Wednesday McMaster announced plans to build a campus at downtown Hamilton. $60-100 million campus will be built within a year or two. I have an article of it, I'll post it soon.

I currently work at McMaster and I'm part of the committee that worked with David Braley and well I'm just glad that I was able to somehow get McMaster to finally build a campus at the downtown core. My department got $15 million thanks to David Braley.
 

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Mac eyes school board site

University wants to buy downtown education centre property to build new family health centre

June 30, 2007
Wade Hemsworth
The Hamilton Spectator
(Jun 30, 2007)
A major push is on to get McMaster University's new family health centre started downtown within the year, with the property now occupied by the Hamilton public school board's headquarters as the prime target.

Talks are set to begin between the city, the university and the school board that could see the city buy the education centre property -- bounded by Main, Bay and King streets -- and then sell a major section to the university for its planned family health centre. It would be housed in a marquee new building whose construction value could range from $60 million to $100 million.

"It's the building that will take our gaze off the smokestacks and make us look to the new Hamilton," said city councillor Bob Bratina, who represents downtown. "The NHL is fine, the Lister Block is fine, but there are other things that are far bigger in terms of redefining Hamilton and this, to me, is that scale of project."

The remainder of the property could become home to one or possibly two hotels, plus an office tower for a major financial institution, Bratina said.

The downtown health centre concept took on renewed momentum this week when McMaster announced businessman and philanthropist David Braley had committed $50 million to its DeGroote School of Medicine -- including $10 million in startup money for the downtown project -- with other levels of government expected to contribute the balance.

The health centre has been under quiet consideration for at least 18 months, and had been part of the preliminary concept behind the construction of a new civic centre to replace City Hall.

But when city council opted to renovate rather than rebuild, the City Hall site -- directly across from the board property -- fell to the No. 3 option for McMaster. It is still in play, however, under a plan that would see a new tower rise in the parking lot behind City Hall, with underground parking.

Meanwhile, the No. 2 option is McMaster's own Downtown Centre in the former county courthouse at Main and John streets, which the university now uses for continuing education and other purposes. That option could possibly involve tearing down the building and starting over, Braley said.

But the board property remains far and away the preferred option both for the university and the city, if it can reach a timely deal with the school board.

That specific plan would depend on the school board being willing to sell now and able to scramble quickly. One option could be to move more than 200 employees to temporary quarters in the nearby Standard Life Building or Jackson Square, Bratina said.

The school board headquarters is in need of extensive repairs, and is too small to accommodate all of the board's administrative needs, but chair Judith Bishop said there isn't a consensus on whether the board should leave downtown. Prior to this week's developments, the board was planning to consider its plans in October.
 

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Mac's health sciences dean to meet with school board director about plan

June 30, 2007
Wade Hemsworth
The Hamilton Spectator
(Jun 30, 2007)

The next move belongs to the public school board as McMaster University's medical school plans a transfusion that has the potential to revive downtown Hamilton.

Starting with $10 million in so-called "trigger" funding from auto-parts entrepreneur David Braley, the university is hoping to establish a major family medicine centre in the core.

Its preferred location is the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board's education centre at Main and Bay streets, a property that extends to King Street.

McMaster's dean of health sciences, John Kelton, is to meet next week with school board director Chris Spence in the hope of moving the issue forward promptly, but the issue is far from a done deal.

McMaster's family medicine centre would serve as an interdisciplinary facility for research and, perhaps more important to the near future of doctor-deprived Ontario, a training site for family physicians who would learn team-based medicine alongside students in other disciplines, including nursing, midwifery and rehabilitation.

In fact, Kelton said, the new centre could allow McMaster to graduate more clinicians in all those fields, becoming a "feeder system" for the province, which was the basis for his request to Health Minister George Smitherman for provincial funding.

"We have said to the province, 'If we can build it, they will come and they will stay.'"

But where, how, and perhaps even whether the centre will be built depends on what the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board decides to do with its education centre, and how quickly it can decide.

The school board is expected to receive staff recommendations in October on what it can do with the centre. As it stands, the building needs considerable repairs and is too small, leaving the board to decide whether to remodel, rebuild or sell.

Leaving downtown would not be an easy decision for the school board, said chair Judith Bishop. "Unfortunately, when you're dealing with two large organizations who both have priorities, it's immensely complicated," she said. "We're certainly very willing to talk, and if the time lines of McMaster can fit in with ours, who knows what we can accomplish?"

Mayor Fred Eisenberger knows the board is in a tight spot, but is hopeful it will sell.

"They have to make some quick decisions, and that always puts pressure and constraints on people," he said. "Having said that, if their intent is to move from that facility at some point, why not speed things up and accommodate a new facility downtown that we can all be proud of?"

Braley and Kelton said McMaster is eager to secure a site soon, which is why it is exploring at least two other options.

Downtown councillor Bob Bratina said if the school board decides to sell, the city's arm's length Hamilton Realty Capital Corporation could buy the property, subdivide it and sell the health-centre portion to the university, leaving as much as three-quarters of the land to be sold to private developers, creating taxes for the city.

"Now that the board, I think, has a sense that it can play an historic part, this may lead them to make some quick decisions," Bratina said.

The concept

Here's a look at the concept behind the DeGroote School of Medicine's downtown health centre:

* The money: It's an estimated $60 million to $100 million to build, depending on what equipment would be used. Philanthropist David Braley has committed $10 million to the project, and other levels of government are considering their potential involvement.

* The people: The centre would be home to researchers and clinicians in several disciplines, including physicians, nurses, midwives and rehabilitation specialists. Doctors on site would include 12 family physicians and 30 residents.

They would serve a collective roster of as many as 15,000 patients, helping reduce the shortage of family doctors in Hamilton, which today recruits physicians from outside the city.

* The building: It's a landmark building of at least 200,000 square feet and at least five storeys high, with an emphasis on architectural excellence that Mayor Fred Eisenberger says would signal the downtown renaissance of downtown. Mac's health sciences dean, John Kelton, said it would help the medical school recruit top talent and increase Ontario's supply and retention of family physicians.

* The timing: It will be as soon as possible, according to Braley and the university.

"We'd like to start within a year," Braley said. "That means there's an awful lot of work to be done in 12 months."

The options

The three major options on the table as McMaster's medical school considers building a major new family health centre downtown:

1. Northwest corner of Main and Bay streets, now occupied by the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board's Education Centre.

The city could buy the property through its arm's-length realty corporation and sell a major parcel to McMaster. The option is preferred because the site is most accessible to transit.

"If it is possible to cut a deal with the board of education and the city, we think it's a perfect site that could help everyone," said John Kelton, McMaster's dean of health sciences.

Upside: Central, sizeable, could create new taxes if remaining land sold to commercial developers.

Downside: Would move school board out of downtown, school board isn't sure it wants to sell, and a decision could be months away.

2. South side of Main Street East between Hughson and John streets

Formerly the county courthouse, now McMaster's Downtown Centre. The viability of the building would need to be tested before a decision on whether to refit or rebuild there.

Upside: McMaster is already there.

Downside: Smaller property, uncertainty over whether new building would be required.

3. Hunter and Bay streets, now the City Hall parking lot.

A new tower would be built on a strip behind City Hall, about 300 metres by 85 metres, featuring the health centre, and forming a civic centre complex that Mayor Fred Eisenberger said could potentially also feature a new YMCA facility.

Upside: Would intensify current use, potential efficiencies from partnership between city and university.

Downside: High cost of underground parking, new building could be obscured by City Hall.
 

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The choices for McMaster....


Red circle - Northwest corner of Main and Bay streets, now occupied by the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board's Education Centre.

Blue cicle - Hunter and Bay streets, now the City Hall parking lot

Green circle - South side of Main Street East between Hughson and John streets, now McMaster's Downtown Centre

It's pretty ovbious which land Braley, McMaster and the City really wants the Family Medicine Centre to be located at, the School Board land.

 

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A friend of a friend applied to Mac health sciences with a 94 average and 10 extra curriculars to boot; he didn't get accepted. Crazy stuff.
 

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Mac wants province to kick in $15m for health centre

Wade Hemsworth
The Hamilton Spectator
(Jul 4, 2007)

McMaster University is looking for $15 million from the province as it plans to build a family health centre in downtown Hamilton.

The province is thinking about it, but not ready to commit the money yet.

If it is built, the centre would provide regular and after-hours care to as many as 15,000 patients -- and advance the university's ability to train health-care providers in several fields.

It's a project McMaster would like to see started as early as next year, on one of three preferred sites that include the public school board's current education centre at Main and Bay streets, McMaster's Downtown Centre at the old county courthouse at Main and John, and the space immediately behind City Hall now occupied by a parking lot.

Though exploratory talks have quietly been under way for months between health ministry staff and the university, McMaster president Peter George is to make the proposal official this week by sending a "letter of opportunity" to Premier Dalton McGuinty and Health Minister George Smitherman, pitching the new centre's potential benefits not only to Hamilton, but to doctor-starved Ontario.

McMaster is asking the city to send a similar letter.

Yesterday, a spokesman for Smitherman said the ministry will look at the idea in the context of the province's broader strategy for addressing the shortage of health-care providers.

"It's something we're considering," said Jeff Rohrer.

Businessman David Braley gave the health centre project major momentum last week by making a $50-million personal commitment to McMaster's DeGroote School of Medicine, including $10 million in startup money for the downtown health centre.

The centre would act as an interdisciplinary training facility for family physicians, nurse-practitioners, midwives, pharmacists, social workers and others, creating team-trained clinicians who would treat patients with new efficiency, explained David Price, chair of family medicine at McMaster.

"There's clearly no way that this country can meet the family physician shortage just by ramping up the numbers," he said.

"We're starting to look at how we can provide the care differently."

The centre would also allow McMaster to train more family physicians overall, he said.

In 2000, McMaster had 30 first-year family medicine residents. This year it has 54, and by 2010 will have 78. If the centre were to be built, that could potentially reach 100.

Without a central area to train them, the number cannot go past 78, Price said.

John Kelton, the university's dean of health sciences, is to meet today with the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board's director of education Chris Spence for what Kelton called a "very preliminary discussion" about the possibility of McMaster using the school board site.
 

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Four cornerstones

Wade Hemsworth
The Hamilton Spectator
BURLINGTON (Jul 10, 2007)


An artist's rendering of the proposed McMaster campus for downtown Burlington.

City politicians in Burlington are expected to take their next cautious step tonight toward teaming up with McMaster University to build a new satellite campus on the site of a downtown parking lot.

Members of the community and corporate services committee will be balancing the ambitious plan and its potential to build prestige and business for the core against concerns over its impact on downtown parking and finding the money for the city's $10-million share of the project.

Already an aggressive early schedule that would have seen the campus open in time for the 2009 school year has been pushed back to 2010, as the two large and previously unconnected public institutions move slowly and carefully toward their first partnership -- with a final decision expected by December.

Tonight, Burlington councillors will discuss four cornerstones for moving the plan forward:

1) Confirming officially that the preferred site is the city lot at Elizabeth and Pine Streets, one block east of Brant Street.

2) That the capacity of the existing parking lot and parking for the building -- a total of 450 to 500 spaces -- will be accommodated below ground, for practical and esthetic reasons.

3) That a specially dedicated team of managers and politicians will negotiate outstanding issues with their counterparts from McMaster and bring back decisions for council approval as they come up. Those issues include who would own the building and how it would be managed.

4) That the city's transit terminal next to the site be integrated into the new structure.

The building itself would be as much as 10 storeys high, with the university occupying five floors and the rest being reserved for public and commercial space in an architecturally significant design.

Burlington has committed $10 million in principle to the project, but it has yet to finalize how it would raise the money -- a decision it will need to reach before it finalizes its 2008 capital spending plans. Those plans are already loaded with the tax burden of a long-planned performing arts centre, among other projects.

From its end, McMaster's board of governors voted last month to approve the project in principle -- a formality to keep the university in step with the city, and which also permits McMaster to raise money for its share of the $35-million project.

Days after the university took that step, McMaster announced that Tim Hortons entrepreneur Ron Joyce was donating $10 million toward the project. The university's final approval is contingent on an external review by independent experts who will determine if its financial model is viable.

The Burlington campus, if built, will be occupied primarily by McMaster's DeGroote School of Business, which would operate graduate-level and executive programs there. One reason Burlington is seen as a preferred location is that the campus would put students close to executive-level restaurants, hotels and other amenities.

The university's medical school would also operate a family health centre there, similar in concept but smaller in scale than one it also hopes to open in downtown Hamilton.

Burlington is also studying the potential impact of the campus on downtown traffic and parking
 

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Four cornerstones

Wade Hemsworth
The Hamilton Spectator
BURLINGTON (Jul 10, 2007)


An artist's rendering of the proposed McMaster campus for downtown Burlington.

City politicians in Burlington are expected to take their next cautious step tonight toward teaming up with McMaster University to build a new satellite campus on the site of a downtown parking lot.

Members of the community and corporate services committee will be balancing the ambitious plan and its potential to build prestige and business for the core against concerns over its impact on downtown parking and finding the money for the city's $10-million share of the project.

Already an aggressive early schedule that would have seen the campus open in time for the 2009 school year has been pushed back to 2010, as the two large and previously unconnected public institutions move slowly and carefully toward their first partnership -- with a final decision expected by December.

Tonight, Burlington councillors will discuss four cornerstones for moving the plan forward:

1) Confirming officially that the preferred site is the city lot at Elizabeth and Pine Streets, one block east of Brant Street.

2) That the capacity of the existing parking lot and parking for the building -- a total of 450 to 500 spaces -- will be accommodated below ground, for practical and esthetic reasons.

3) That a specially dedicated team of managers and politicians will negotiate outstanding issues with their counterparts from McMaster and bring back decisions for council approval as they come up. Those issues include who would own the building and how it would be managed.

4) That the city's transit terminal next to the site be integrated into the new structure.

The building itself would be as much as 10 storeys high, with the university occupying five floors and the rest being reserved for public and commercial space in an architecturally significant design.

Burlington has committed $10 million in principle to the project, but it has yet to finalize how it would raise the money -- a decision it will need to reach before it finalizes its 2008 capital spending plans. Those plans are already loaded with the tax burden of a long-planned performing arts centre, among other projects.

From its end, McMaster's board of governors voted last month to approve the project in principle -- a formality to keep the university in step with the city, and which also permits McMaster to raise money for its share of the $35-million project.

Days after the university took that step, McMaster announced that Tim Hortons entrepreneur Ron Joyce was donating $10 million toward the project. The university's final approval is contingent on an external review by independent experts who will determine if its financial model is viable.

The Burlington campus, if built, will be occupied primarily by McMaster's DeGroote School of Business, which would operate graduate-level and executive programs there. One reason Burlington is seen as a preferred location is that the campus would put students close to executive-level restaurants, hotels and other amenities.

The university's medical school would also operate a family health centre there, similar in concept but smaller in scale than one it also hopes to open in downtown Hamilton.

Burlington is also studying the potential impact of the campus on downtown traffic and parking
Wow! I hope this gets support from the community. It will be a big draw to downtown Burlington and definitely liven up the area. (Not that it needs it, but help is always good)
 

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Concrete support for Mac campus

Wade Hemsworth
The Hamilton Spectator
(Jul 11, 2007)

With enthusiastic support from city politicians and local merchants, the idea of a McMaster University campus in downtown Burlington is taking more tangible form.

Burlington's community and corporate services committee made four decisions last night that allow the city to move forward on its proposed partnership with McMaster University on a $35-million satellite campus.

They are:

* to make the municipal lot at Pine and Elizabeth Streets the city's official first choice for the new campus.

* to use underground parking exclusively.

* to create a special negotiating team including retired city manager Tim Dobbie to deal with McMaster on issues including ownership and management of the property.

* to investigate the idea of building some form of transit terminal into the new complex.

The actions provide the framework for the city to proceed toward its most critical decisions in the fall: whether it can commit to its $10-million share, and whether the project as proposed would be in the best interest of the city.

Debra Schreiber of the downtown business association said the campus idea has "captured the imagination of our business community" with 87 per cent of members endorsing the plan.

"This is definitely one of the most exciting things we've ever done here," echoed Councillor Carol D'Amelio.

Meanwhile, McMaster, which endorsed the campus in principle last month, is waiting to hear from outside experts on whether the project makes financial sense for the university before making its own final commitment.

The project would include as many as 500 parking spaces in three levels of underground parking. In addition to academic space, the structure would include public and commercial space, reaching a maximum height of 10 storeys.

McMaster is to be responsible for $25 million, of which $10 million has already been covered after a donation from philanthropist Ron Joyce last month.

Firm commitments to the project are expected from the city and the university by December, with the campus possibly opening as early as 2010.

The Burlington campus would serve primarily graduate and executive students of McMaster's DeGroote School of Business. The remainder of the university space would serve its medical school as a family medicine training centre.
 

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McMaster University has just pulled the plug on the Burlington campus idea.

Downtown Burlington Will Not House A New McMaster Campus

HAMILTON - McMaster University has withdrawn its application to build a business campus in downtown Burlington, at the corner of Elizabeth and Pine Streets.

The university's letter to the City of Burlington suggests that it needs to find a location with more potential for expansion, as well as a location with easier highway access.

Burlington Mayor Cam Jackson is not viewing it as a setback.

He stresses that several other downtown developments remain on track in Burlington, including a new hotel complex and a performing arts center.

Jackson adds that the city will continue working with McMaster to find a suitable location elsewhere for its business campus.
 

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Does anyone know when the innovation park will start construction? I heard about the federal lab but that was almost tow years ago. Any idea when this could start?
 

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CANMET Lab will be moving here in 2010 I think. It's a big deal moving a lab like that mainly because the people who work there have to come with it. I actually talked to a guy this summer who was taking pictures of Hamilton to make a package promoting the city in an attempt to convince the researchers to move here from Ottawa.
 

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I wonder if the McMaster family medicine program can really accommodate that many new residents.... Even UofT only has 94 first year family medicine residents. 100 by 2010? That's insane! The quality of the program is going to suffer greatly.
 

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According to the report that I got yesterday from McMaster is says...

".....and construction of the new MTL (CANMET's Materials Technology Laboratory) building is expected to commence in the second half of 2008."
 
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