Crowd cheers University’s takeover of downtown site

Hundreds of students, alumni, staff, faculty and well-wishers cheered as UWindsor president Alan Wildeman accepted the keys to the former Windsor Star buildings from publisher Marty Beneteau on Friday, symbolizing the transfer of the property to the University.

First-year business student Qiaotian Yan said it was fun to participate in the event, which jammed the corner of Pitt and Ferry streets for a photograph and video to document the historic occasion.

“We have a new building, which means our campus is becoming more mature,” she said. “Having a presence downtown will connect with our community, connect with Windsor.”

The complex of buildings will be renovated to house programs in social work and the Centre for Executive and Professional Education. See architect’s renderings of the transformed sites.

First-year students Jordan Cutler—a music major—and visual arts major Charl Fourie are looking forward to the time their programs will relocate to Windsor’s core. The School for Arts and Creative Innovation will combine music, visual arts, film production and urban ecology programs and house them in the former bus depot and Armouries buildings that front on University Avenue East.

“I am very excited about our new building,” said Fourie, a native of Waterloo. “I want to see more of Windsor!”

Photos of Friday’s event are available on the website of the downtown campus project and in a Facebook photo album. Watch for more images and a video of the event in Tuesday’s DailyNews.