St.Clair College launches $23 million fast-build student accommodation project

The new 110,000 square foot international student residence will provide on-campus housing for 512 students and will be built within approximately 45 days.

“This welcome wave of newcomers desperately needs a home away from home”

This will be achieved with the use of an innovative process that uses Z-Modular units, which are constructed in a factory and then shipped to the site of the new building. 

During the building work, 300 units will be stacked and connected through a phase-by-phase process. 

Global Education Milhome Corporation, St Clair’s educational partners, will cover the cost of construction and management of the residence. 

Canada’s international student population continues to grow and the increasing numbers have put pressure on universities who have to provide them with accommodation. 

“This welcome wave of newcomers desperately needs a home away from home and this new residence project will provide just that,” said St. Clair College president, Patti France.

Nancy Jammu-Taylor, chairwoman of the college’s board of governors, said that as student enrolment skyrocketed during the past several years, the availability of affordable local housing reached “a crisis stage”.

“The board was confronted with a new issue: not dealing with the quality of education, but rather with our students’ quality of life,” she added.

The Z-Modular Corporation’s building process is seen as a solution to this problem.  The Corporation is a subsidiary of Zekelman Industries, which is owned by the college’s corporate patrons Barry and Stephanie Zekelman.

David Piccini, parliamentary assistant to the minister of colleges and universities, said the project “is at the forefront of innovation”.

“St. Clair College has been a leading proponent of public college-private partnerships in Ontario for some time. 

“This new residence is an example of the potential economic benefits partnerships between Ontario’s public colleges and private education providers can offer,” he added. 

“It will ease the stress of hundreds of our students as they find comfortable, convenient and affordable accommodations right on campus.”

Kiara Clement, president of the Student Representative Council, said the development will alleviate the burden for international students of finding a place to live after arriving in Canada.

“We commend the administration and its project partners for recognising the dire need for more campus house, and for doing something to remedy this shortcoming,” she said. 

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