MARKHAM, ONT. — York University is moving forward with a plan to build the $275.5-million Markham Centre Campus (MCC) in Markham, Ont., the first publicly-assisted university in York Region, with construction beginning in the next few days.
The campus, located on a five-acre site near Enterprise Boulevard and Rivis Road, is being designed by Diamond Schmitt and constructed by Stuart Olson Inc. Doors are expected to open in fall 2023.
The Ontario government announced support for the project July 24. The new campus expansion is the first project proceeding under the government’s updated Major Capacity Expansion Policy Framework, which encourages the responsible development of new postsecondary campuses, ensuring minimal cost to the taxpayer, an education that aligns with labour market needs and expansion plans that align with community planning and industry partnerships, indicates a government release.
The initial phase of the vertically integrated campus will accommodate up to 4,200 students with the flexibility to respond to future growth demands.
The building form consists of a five-storey podium with five-storey tower above. Bronze-anodized aluminum cladding and fritted bird-friendly glazing are “interspersed within a syncopated fenestration pattern,” states a Diamond Schmitt release, adding cantilevers and curves animate the building form and create fluid, interactive spaces.
“The 400,000-square-foot facility opens onto a sloping Campus Green at several levels, strengthening its connection to the landscape as well as to future development phases,” reads the campus description. “The Campus Green creates an outdoor focal point for social gathering, Indigenous learning and respite. Low-incline curved pathways connect with a nearby civic athletic centre, transit hub, cinemas and commercial district.”
Construction of the campus is expected to aid in York Region’s post-COVID-19 economic recovery, as it’s slated to generate over $350 million in immediate economic benefits and to create over 2,000 jobs.
The capital funding for the new $275.5-million campus includes financial commitments from York Region, the City of Markham and donor contributions as well as the university’s existing capital funds.
“The time has come for a new, innovative approach to financing college and university expansions. Instead of the province writing multi-million-dollar cheques, we have developed a system that encourages the development of new campuses with a much smaller cost to the taxpayer,” said Premier Doug Ford in a statement. “The new Markham Centre Campus is a model of responsible expansion which will offer local students access to a world-class education and prepare them for the jobs of the future.”