Conestoga news

March 15, 2024 1:49 PM

Conestoga development projects make significant impact on local construction industry

Conestoga launched multi-year construction projects this year alone totalling $300 million, cementing the college’s “massive impact” on the local industry and economy, according to the Grand Valley Construction Association.

Conestoga construction.jpg
Conestoga launched multi-year construction projects this year alone totalling $300 million.

“The impact that Conestoga College has on the local construction industry is significant. In times when many projects are delayed or scaled back, Conestoga keeps creating opportunities for the local industry,” association president Jeff MacIntyre said.

In the past four months alone, five major projects have been tendered with two more coming and the “interest is significant and impactful,” MacIntyre said.

A dozen general contractors submitted tenders for each of the projects. Although only one will manage each project, a large amount of work will go to sub-contractors, suppliers and professional services in the region.

“This has a massive impact on the local economy. The number of employees working on these projects is in the hundreds or more and the impact on the local economy is immeasurable. With most construction workers living in the communities where they work, the projects are very important to keep our community vibrant.”

Conestoga has invested $500 million in the community over the last five years to expand campus locations and modernize buildings. Recent projects include Phase 1 and 2 of the Conestoga Skilled Trades Campus on Reuter Drive in Cambridge to become the largest, most modern trades training facility in Canada, as well as a major expansion of the college’s health-care facilities and training programs. The college is also expanding in Milton with the Parkhill Drive campus that opened in January and the Steeles Avenue location welcoming students this spring.

"Given our rapid growth Conestoga has been building its design, construction and operations teams and is pleased to be working with so many construction professionals," said Conestoga's Tim Schill, vice president, Facilities & Capital Development. "We are fortunate to have very professional contractors and sub-trades with the capacity to take on the amount of work we are doing in the communities we serve. It is another way Conestoga’s financial impact contributes to these communities."

Conestoga’s investment in construction projects - which includes new builds and renovations for student learning and living spaces - is vital in supporting the local industry and keeping skilled workers here.

“With the slowdown in residential and multi-residential housing due to high interest rates, the growth efforts at the college are welcome and necessary to employ our skilled labour workforce and keep them in the community for future projects,” MacIntyre said.

Construction spending has been rising steadily at the college in the past few years from $72,500,000 in 2021-22 to $78,500,00 in 2023-24 - an increase of more than $6 million in two years. The proposed 2024-25 capital budget earmarks $189,900,000 for construction - a jump of nearly 2.5 times compared to the previous year.

Conestoga is also investing heavily in carbon reduction efforts, planning $40 million worth of retrofits over the next six years.

Construction at Conestoga

This is part of an ongoing series highlighting construction and renovation projects at Conestoga’s campuses. Continue reading about the college’s investments in the communities it serves here:

Waterloo redevelopment

Guelph - Speedvale renovation

Downtown Kitchener - 1 Young

Milton - Steeles Avenue