Major Donation For St. Clair College

St. Clair College has received its largest single donation to date.

The Zekelman family has donated $5-million towards the college's School of Business & Information Technology, to be named after the family.

The school is expanding to the downtown core and has taken over 30,000 square feet of the ground floor at One Riverside Drive, says College President Patti France

She says the board made the decision to expand the school to the city centre in June and construction started right after that.

"I can't believe how much has even happened in the last 24 hours," says France.  "We will be good and the students will be here.  We will have about 500 students in September and probably up 1000 in January." 

She says the college has never named a school in it's 51-year history.

"The Zekelman name will be bared where ever the School of Business and IT programs are being delivered so that will occur here at One Riverside Drive and also on the Academic Tower and we hope to have that done within 12 to 18 months," says France.  "It might be closer to 18 to 24."   

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Concept drawing (Photo by AM800's Rob Hindi)

Barry Zekelman says he likes how the college provides a wide aspect and that it's just not a school of academics. 

"I like the fact that the school has vocational studies as well," he says.  "It allows kids to come out of high school pick a career, don't spend to much in time in post secondary education and actually get out in the real world and start earning money and earning a living and it's also in areas where we need those people."     

The new space at One Riverside Drive will include eight classrooms.

Construction on the $3-million building started more than four weeks ago and is expected to wrap up by the beginning of September.

The college new academic tower and the indoor tennis courts will also be named after Zekelman family.

Work on the academic tower is expected to be completed within the next 24 to 48 months.