Plans for Brandon University’s mature student housing project are moving at a snail’s pace.
BU president and vice-chancellor Deborah Poff said it’s going slower than what she had expected, but she’s still hoping to have the project up and running before she leaves the university in July.
“We have found it very bureaucratic and slow moving,” Poff said when asked about the status of the project during BU’s board of governors meeting on Saturday afternoon. “Nothing has actually changed. It’s just the stages of approval are slow and bureaucratic.”
Poff added a meeting with Premier Greg Selinger planned for mid-June should help move things along.
“This is a really important initiative not only for the university but for the City of Brandon,” she said.
The plan is to develop non-profit housing units for mature university students near Sioux Valley High School — the former Fleming School property — with the goal to provide more options in quality, affordable housing for students with families.
The university’s original proposal to the province called for an $11.4-million development of 42 condos and apartments. The majority of the units would be three bedrooms suitable for families.
Poff said they anticipate grants from Manitoba Housing will help fund the project.
Scott Lamont, BU’s vice-president of administration and finance, pointed out during Saturday’s meeting that a daycare facility will also be an element of the project that could end up costing the university.
“There’s always been questions about how much the government would fund of the daycare component so the university may have to do some fundraising for that,” he said.
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