Georgian College has chosen its preferred location to move several hundred Design and Visual Arts students into Barrie’s downtown core.
The 17,000 square-foot building at 56 Bayfield St., Unit 101, will open in September. (While the property has a Bayfield address, the building actually faces Ross Street.) It will be home to approximately 250 students in all years of Georgian’s Digital Photography and Imaging, Digital Video, Graphic Design and Graphic Design Production programs.
“We’re excited about the possibilities this will bring, and we eagerly anticipate the first day of classes in September,” says Dr. Bill Angelakos, Dean of Technology and Visual Arts. “This new leased downtown location will provide our students greater opportunities for work-integrated and experiential learning and collaboration with experts in Barrie’s vibrant creative community, as well as space to show and sell their work.”
Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman agrees.
“I’m excited to see this project moving forward,” Lehman says. “Bringing postsecondary education downtown has been a key piece of our strategy for many years and this will be a boost for downtown businesses. Both the City and Georgian will benefit from this downtown location. Most importantly, it will provide an exciting new facility and a creative environment for Georgian’s talented students.”
The choice of location follows a full review by Georgian. Seven submissions were received in response to an RFP issued in fall 2016. A committee of faculty, administrative staff, engineers and architects toured and assessed four short-listed sites over several months before making this choice.
“Through some exciting renovations, we will really make this space our own,” says Angelakos. “The building will get a much-needed exterior facelift, and work on the interior will create high ceilings, multi-purpose open space with lots of light, as well as classrooms, work areas, offices and storage. Georgian is proud to be involved in a project that will help to invigorate part of Barrie’s downtown core.”
The choice of site is pending final approval from the provincial government and rezoning by the City of Barrie.