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Conexus Credit Union Partnership

The Need

For nearly five years, the University raised funds and lobbied government for support to save College Avenue Campus. But by late 2015, the University was still tens of millions of dollars short of the funds needed to fully restore its historic campus.

The choice was either to begin plans for scaling back the programming that relies on these facilities. Or, to think outside the box about a partnership that would save this programming for thousands of seniors, students and kids, and preserve the heritage architecture at College Avenue Campus that contributes to the beauty and vitality of Wascana Park.

The Process

In January 2016, the University put out a news release and request for proposals seeking a development partner that could help save College Avenue Campus.  

At the time, Dr. Vianne Timmons, President and Vice-Chancellor said: “Through our recent campus master planning consultations, our campus community has been urging us to redevelop the College Avenue Campus in a way that preserves its unique history, protects the heritage of its buildings, and embraces the park landscape that is so integral to the beauty and attractiveness of our city. We are seeking development partners that share and can help deliver on a similar vision for the future of College Avenue Campus.”

Conexus responded to this request with great generosity. Conexus committed up to $8.25 million to the renewal of our historic campus and millions more through in-kind contributions to restore Darke Hall as a result of synergies with the proposed Conexus project.  

Before proceeding with the partnership, the University took the proposed Conexus partnership through public consultations. This included two open public forums, a series of targeted consultations with business groups, heritage groups and many others, as well as solicitation of electronic feedback from approximately 25,000 students, faculty, staff, alumni and members of the public.

“The federal funding the university received must be cost-matched, and includes no money to restore Darke Hall. Without the funds from the Conexus partnership to help us with this cost-matching, restoration of the other facilities at College Avenue would have to be scaled down.

The result would be less programming for seniors through the Lifelong Learning Centre, less programming for kids through the Conservatory of Performing Arts, and fewer people able to upgrade their skills through the Centre for Continuing Education.

In addition, without the Conexus partnership, restoration of Darke Hall will be stalled indefinitely. Without this partnership, there currently is no way to upgrade that facility. The partnership allows us to work with Conexus to avoid millions of dollars of additional costs through the construction of a joint atrium, and through energy-saving synergies on joint utilities and accessibility upgrades.”

- Dave Button, Vice President (Administration)
University of Regina

The Conexus Partnership

The Conexus partnership offers significant benefits to the College Avenue Campus Renewal Project beyond the direct financial benefits. It's a long term partnership with a community-oriented organization committed to social responsibility, diversity and sustainability.

The partnership with Conexus includes the creation of a new environmentally-sustainable LEED quality, three-storey building on the site that would include:

  • 55,000 square feet for the Conexus head office, enabling the credit union to centralize its corporate services staff together under one roof, plus 10,000 square feet to accommodate future growth (building will not include any Conexus retail/banking space);

  • 15,000 square feet of business incubator space for small start-up companies, leveraging Conexus and University expertise to help spur economic growth in Regina.

Although there are myriad reasons the Conexus proposal should be supported, the most critical are that the Conexus proposal will result in:

  • Up to $8.25 million in direct financial support for CAC Renewal;

  • Significant ongoing revenue for the University, the City and the Wascana Centre Authority, including property tax revenue to the City, and fees to WCA as a result of development and tenancy in the Park;

  • Enhanced and shared amenities that help all partners avoid costs and increase services for users of College Avenue Campus and the Park;

  • Millions of dollars in cost avoidance on shared maintenance and utilities like shared heating/cooling infrastructure, shared HVAC systems, loading docks, etc;

  • Helping save Darke Hall by enabling the addition of an atrium and other accessibility features, breathing new life into the historic building by preserving its heritage while modernizing its functionality;

  • Greater economic productivity through the creation of a business incubator site for small start up companies, providing the support and mentorship they need to grow;

  • Increased support for arts and culture in Regina by adding a valuable community partner in Conexus to the vibrant arts and culture scene supported by programs at College Avenue Campus and Darke Hall.

Most importantly Conexus is the right partner. Committed to both CAC renewal and to enhancing Wascana Centre, Conexus has a demonstrated 80-year history of social responsibility and community investment in Saskatchewan. With 120,000 members and a responsibility for $7.39 billion in funds, Conexus is a strong and growing company that’s structure as a member-based cooperative actively shapes its values and commitment to giving back to the community.

Updates on the project can be found at https://conexusbuildingcommunities.ca/

How You Can Help

Please consider donating to the College Avenue Campus Renewal Project.

donate buttonFor more information about how you can donate, please contact:

Marc Butikofer, Director of Development