Conestoga news

September 20, 2023 10:57 AM

Conestoga continues heavy investment in student housing

Conestoga College has purchased two buildings in Waterloo Region to accommodate student housing: a residence at 60 University Avenue East in Waterloo, a five-story building just blocks from the college’s Waterloo campus, and 22 Frederick Street in downtown Kitchener.

Conestoga's recent investments in student housing include the purchase of 22 Frederick Street in Downtown Kitchener. Pictured L-R: Conestoga College President John Tibbits and Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic

Early conceptual plans for the Frederick Street location, a 12-story vacant office building located directly across from the college’s Kitchener - Downtown campus, propose classroom space on the ground floor, a mix of residential student suites and a common lounge area on the second floor, and full residential student suites on floors 3 through 12, designed in consultation with students to accommodate their diverse needs and preferences.

The purchases are part of a series of heavy investments the college is making in student housing. These recent acquisitions will augment Conestoga’s existing residences at 99 Conestoga College Boulevard and the Waterloo residence at 50 University Avenue East, which opened to students this fall. The new locations will provide housing for students attending the Waterloo campus as well as Conestoga’s Kitchener - Downtown campus.

“Conestoga College’s newest investment - the purchase of 22 Frederick St. - is a welcome addition to Downtown Kitchener and builds on the successful redevelopment of our core,” said Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic. “With a mix of classrooms and residential student suites, students will no longer have to commute into downtown to attend classes and will be able to take advantage of all the great amenities that Downtown Kitchener has to offer.”

In addition to these recent investments, the college has also purchased 135 Darling Street in Brantford to provide housing options for students there. The college is also exploring the potential for a student residence at the Doon campus.

Expanded student housing is just one area of growth for the college. Over the last 10 years, Conestoga has completed major facilities projects including the expansion of the Waterloo campus for applied computer science, information technology, hospitality and culinary arts; expansion into Brantford and Milton with new campus locations; a new $120 million state-of-the-art skilled trades campus in Cambridge to address the province’s skilled trades shortage; and continued investment in health care and business programming at the Doon campus. Since 2019, Conestoga has invested $300 to $400 million in capital intensive projects to support current and future students, employees, industry partners, and the community.

“Conestoga’s growth over the past several years has been accompanied by significant investments in practices that support the delivery of quality programs and services that enhance the student experience,” said John Tibbits, President, Conestoga College. “As we increase capacity at existing campuses and establish additional locations to address today’s workforce demands, we have also worked hard to ensure the health and safety of our students remains a priority. This includes making investments in housing that is affordable and accessible for our diverse student population.”

Conestoga residences provide fully furnished suites, high-speed internet access, laundry facilities, secure access, a front desk that is staffed 24 hours a day, and strong connections to student supports, including those focused on health and wellness. Weekly events hosted by residence staff offer students the opportunity to get to know their fellow residents and build a sense of community.

In addition to Conestoga’s residences in Kitchener, Waterloo and Brantford, the college also offers homestay options and other long-term and short-term stays in Kitchener, Cambridge, Waterloo, Brantford and Guelph. This fall, Conestoga was able to offer accommodation to all domestic and international students seeking housing through the college.

Conestoga will continue to invest in future residences and other housing options, and is currently working to offer accommodation in Milton and Guelph.