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City approval another milestone on road toward downtown campus

The University’s plans for its downtown campus cleared another hurdle Monday, as Windsor city council approved a change in the zoning of the Windsor Star, armouries and bus depot sites from commercial to institutional.

The buildings will accommodate classrooms, offices, studios and performance spaces for the School of Social Work, the Centre for Executive and Professional Excellence, and the School for Arts and Creative Innovation. Monday’s approval, which included amendments to the city’s master plan, is the latest in a series of steps preceding the renovation of the heritage buildings.

“We are expecting the final approvals in January,” says Susan Mark, executive director of UWindsor Facility Services. “The city has been great to work with and very accommodating.”

She said under the revised zoning amendments, the University is not required to add parking spaces, but she understands it remains a concern.

“We are working with the city, with Transit Windsor and with private parking operators to determine how best to meet the need to provide a seamless transfer between the main campus and downtown,” says Mark. “The key to remember is that this is not just a parking issue, it is also a transportation issue. We are confident these challenges can be resolved.”

In addition to public transit, she says pedestrian and bicycle traffic may play a role.

“We are actively looking into transportation solutions for our students, faculty and staff and will continue to work with partners to identify opportunities,” Mark says.