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Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
April 16, 2014
Canadian Excellence


Recruitment & Admissions Office - Brantford Campus

Laurier students back levy for athletic complex

Feb 12/13

Hugo Rodrigues
Expositor Staff

The students at Laurier Brantford are supporting the proposed Laurier Brantford YMCA that would serve as their new campus athletic and recreational facility.

During last week’s student union elections, the students who voted in Brantford voted 70.8% in favour of a new student levy that would see those enrolled in programs offered locally pay half of the university’s $9.6-million commitment to the project.

Students will pay it as a levy, billed at up to $40 per term, starting in September and ending in April 2023 or when the students’ amount has been reached.

“It was important for students to say they’ve been a part of that building,” said Bre Carnes, Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union vice-president of campus experience in Brantford.

“They’re contributing towards something that would change their experience for years to come – so we decided to ask them about it first and give them the option.”

While turnout was low, Brantford-based numbers weren’t available, but overall only29.8% of eligible students across all the university’s campuses voted – the support for the new levy was strong among those who did.

Carnes said that the support likely shows some of the frustration students have with using Laurier Brantford’s existing Roadhouse Gym on Darling Street.

“As the number of students in Brantford is growing, that gym has become too small,” Carnes admitted.

“It’s come to the point where it’s very busy.”

The students’ decision firms up a chunk of the funding committed by Laurier Brantford. The university’s $9.6 million is matched by an equal funding commitment from the YMCA of Hamilton, Burlington, Brantford.

The provincial and federal governments committed $16.7 million each and the city has, in principle, committed $5.8 million.

The 12,077-square-metre (130,000-square-foot) complex will feature pools for fitness, therapy and leisure swimming, multipurpose spaces for group fitness, social, educational and cultural programming, community education teaching spaces, cardio, strength and weights areas, space for community based health-care programs, a multipurpose studio and a large gymnasium with seating for 1,200.

It will, in addition to the YMCA and community use, be Laurier Brantford’s varsity athletics and recreation centre, replacing the Roadhouse Gym.

Carnes said the student union will meet with the university executive to finalize the contribution agreement.

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