Downtown Kitchener college campus expected to give economy a boost

KITCHENER — Businesses in downtown Kitchener could see an uptick in sales next week as the new Conestoga College campus at Market Square prepares to welcome students.

Over 800 students are enrolled in programs at the campus, with classes set to begin Monday.

Another 100 part- and full-time faculty will also work out of the building.

That means that nearly 1,000 people will become patrons of downtown shops, amenities and restaurants: the college made the decision not to include food services on the campus.

“What we decided really consciously to do was not offer food services internally in our space, what we really want the students to do is utilize the other spaces within Market Square, to visit the shops, restaurants and other amenities that already exist downtown,” explains Associate Vice-President of Student Affairs Trish Weigel-Green.

“So if you think about having 1,000 young people descending really on the downtown core, what we really hope is that they become part of the community and part of that is the economic contribution that they bring.”

Almost all of the 800 students registered for January are international students.

Many are expected to rent homes and apartments near the campus, while others will live further away and use the LRT to get to school.

Construction at the campus is mostly finished, but there are still workers on site putting together furniture, installing technology and putting finishing touches on the space.

The campus will mainly offer business programs, but in the coming months there are also plans to expand to other areas.

Conestoga College has also partnered with Apollo Cinema to host a Bollywood night to give them a taste of some of the social activities the city has to offer.

By Tegan Versolatto – CTV News