Student housing proposed for Haliburton's Fleming College
By Chad Ingram
Published Dec. 4, 2018
Planner/surveyor/engineer Greg Bishop is planning to construct student housing for the Haliburton School of Art + Design/Fleming College campus.
Bishop visited Dysart et al councillors during a Nov. 27 meeting to provide them with an overview of the project. It will require the severance of nearly three hectares of property from a nearly 16-hectare lot off of College Drive near Glebe Park. That location is an easy walk or bike ride away from the campus, where lack of student housing has been an ongoing issue for years.
“That further lot was always, in my mind, for this,” Bishop said of the site.
“I’ve been in talks with Sir Sanford Fleming [College] for a couple of years now,” he said, adding he’d recently spoken with the college’s new president.
“I’m passionate about this, not for me, I’m passionate about this for the county,” Bishop said. “At the end of the day, whether they own it, I own it, we jointly own it, it does not matter.”
Bishop said research has shown that most of the rental revenue from the project would come from the summer months, when the college offers a bevy of arts courses. That revenue model may not be ideal to everyone, and Bishop said he’s left it with the college’s new president to take it back to the board that is open to any sort of ownership/operating model the school would prefer.
“I’m only here for one purpose, and that’s to get housing for the students,” he said. “I’m seventh generation here. This is important to us as a community.”
Bishop said on his own, he could commit to building 40 units, and depending on what kind collaboration comes from the college, said that number could be as high as 80.
“If at any time they decide they want it, it can get integrated into the college,” he said.
Renderings showed a series of tasteful, two-storey buildings. The project is expected to cost between $5 million and $7 million.
Bishop said the biggest issue he foresees with the project is sewers, which will require easements across college and township property to get to the Fleming College pumping facility
“I would like to look at the potential for sewers there, whether it be a pump system or whatever, and I have hired an engineer to look at it,” he told councillors.
Councillors were excited and supportive of the project, granting it support in principle.
“That’s a perfect location,” said Mayor Murray Fearrey. “You shouldn’t have any problems getting your approvals there, you wouldn’t think.”
Fearrey said the only reluctance to the project may come from residents in the area.
The project will require a zoning amendment and an official plan amendment from the upper tier of Haliburton County, a public process that can take a number of months. It could be a couple of years before housing is constructed and open.