Algoma University President Dr. Richard Myers is heading to St. Thomas next week.
The small Southern Ontario community with a population of approximately 36,000 will be the newest location for Algoma U extension programming.
"We're not opening a new campus," Dr. Myers told SooToday.com. "We're offering the first two years of a Bachelor of Arts degree to a small number of students so they can study at home. We anticipate they'd complete the program at Algoma University."
Classes will take place in the former Wellington Street Public School site which closed last year so the grounds could be used for additional City Hall parking.
Acquired by the City of St. Thomas from the Thames Valley District School Board, a portion of the Wellington Street building renovations will be funded by a private donor.
"The victorian-era building is an excellent facility," said Dr. Myers. "We're pleased to have use of the building for this university opportunity for the cost of utilities."
"This proposed use of the actual heritage building will be a benefit to the entire community and an excellent use of the former school property and to see it remain as an education facility is certainly very exciting," St. Thomas Mayor Heather Jackson-Chapman stated in an interview with the St. Thomas Times-Journal.
A relatively modest operation initially accommodating 20 to 25 students with a full capacity of approximately 50, Dr. Myers anticipates the project will be ready to accept students in September 2012.