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This article was published 26/10/2009 (3736 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A new health sciences centre and the largest capital campaign in the school's 191-year history will transform the campus of the Collège universitaire de Saint-Boniface (CUSB), president Raymonde Gagné declared Thursday.
The $15-million campus expansion will usher in a new era of excellence at Manitoba's only French-language post-secondary institution, Gagné said.
"Our campus expansion will address a critical lack of space at the Collège universitaire" said Gagné.
The focal point will be a $13-million health sciences building to front on Aulneau Street, Gagné said. There will be $1 million in student financial aid, and $1 million for research and equipment.
"Our programs are just scattered all over the place. Our health technology labs are in the basement, in dark corners," she said. "We're really tight on offices — people are sharing offices."
CUSB has more than tripled enrolment since 1980, Gagné said, yet the college has not expanded physically.
"We'll increase the number of spaces for nursing, and we'll introduce an LPN (licensed practical nurse) program," while turning the diploma nursing program into a degree program.
The new building will be on the southeast corner of the college. "The intention is to look esthetically pleasing for the neighbourhood," she said.
While the building will have a modern look, Gagné said, "The shell could also have Tyndall stone" if costs allow.
Gagné said that CUSB also has programs in arts, sciences, education, social work and business administration; it is an autonomous school, affiliated with the University of Manitoba.
Thursday's campaign kickoff featured an $800,000 gift from campaign chair Marcel A. Desautels, a 1955 grad who has been a frequent donor to scholarships and the business program at CUSB. He gave a $20 million gift to the new faculty of music building at the University of Manitoba that will bear his name.
The new health sciences centre will respond to Manitoba's need for health care and educate more nurses each year, Desautels said Thursday. Programs have quadrupled since 1980, but the size of the college had not changed, he pointed out.
Desautels chuckled that he graduated in 1955 in "la course classique", a bachelor of arts in Latin philosophy taught by Catholic priest professors, which included skills such as deductive reasoning.
"I'm beholden to the training and education I received. It's an important institution for Canada for bilingualism, and for the western provinces."
Enrolment has stabilized in recent years, but St. Boniface could attract even more international students and out-of-towners if it had more residence space, said Gagné. The college owns two apartment buildings near campus, and houses some students at the St. Boniface Hospital residence and the Youth International Hostel.
When CUSB applied for shovel-ready federal infratsructure funding, it also proposed a daycare centre and additional student residences.
"We have to find a private partner" for residence development, she said.
"We have looked for other properties" in the area, Gagné said.
CUSB is aware that there are Louis Riel School Division schools in the neighbourhood with low enrolment. The division had planned to close several schools — likely moving four neighbourhood schools into two buildings — until the NDP government imposed a moratorium on school closings in the spring of 2008.
Still, those schools have lots of space, but there would be costs, said Gagné: "We have a faculty of education — why couldn't they be housed in a school?"
How they'll do it
What will the Collège universitaire de Saint-Boniface (CUSB)'s campagne VISION fund build?
A new $13-million health sciences building is at the heart of the campaign. The two-storey, 25,000-square-foot building will allow CUSB to consolidate its health sciences programs under one roof. The programs include a nursing diploma, nursing degree (in collaboration with University of Ottawa), a health care aid diploma, and a social work degree.
There will be new bursaries and scholarships of $1 million.
Research and new equipment will receive $500,000 apiece.
Where will CUSB get the $15 million?
Ottawa and the provincial government have already contributed $3 million each. In addition, Manitoba will provide $2 for every $1 raised privately.
Alumnus Marcel A. Desautels has donated $800,000. The CUSB Students Association is on board for $600,000, to be raised through a $130-annual levy that students approved in a referendum. And the first corporate gift came from agriculture company Roy-Legumex of St. Jean-Baptiste. Owners Richard Sabourin (a CUSB alumnus) and his son Ivan contributed $150,000.
Who attends CUSB?
There are 1,225 students, or about 1,000 full-time equivalents.
The largest group is franco-Manitobans — at 32 per cent of enrolment — all graduates of the Division Scolaire Franco-Manitobaine. St. Boniface recruits 40 per cent of the DSFM's Grade 12 grads each year.
About 20 per cent are French immersion students from Manitoba, 15 per cent are international students and 10 per cent are recent immigrants, the latter two primarily from French-speaking African countries. The rest come from other provinces.
Updated on Monday, October 26, 2009 at 7:05 AM CDT: Fixes spelling of Raymonde Gagne