With the official opening of Laurentian University's School of Architecture downtown, dozens of new students are expected to make an impact on Sudbury's central core, as well as on the university's main campus in the south end of the city.

"It offers new opportunities within the faculties and across the university," Dominic Giroux said.

"It [brings] additional students ... for electives in arts and science on the main campus 'cause architecture students will be taking [courses] on the main campus. And I think it adds a sense of excitement."

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Laurentian University's school of architecture has been in the works for several years. Classes got started Wednesday. (Supplied)

As the ribbon on the new School of Architecture was cut Wednesday afternoon, some of the minds behind it were already thinking about the school's next moves.

Laurentian University economist David Robinson says schools of industrial design and landscape design would be complementary to the architecture school's mandate — and would help to address problems in capitalizing on the natural resources sectors in the north.

"Northern Ontario doesn't have much design capacity," he said. "That means the economy doesn't have much chance to develop. Because design is what you sell when you're doing value-added products.

The professor and his daughter Kirsten are credited with spearheading the idea to bring the architecture school to Sudbury.

Robinson said he believes the School of Architecture will get the ball rolling in other related fields as well.

"I think we're likely to see planning capacity start to develop around this in time," he added.

"These are fields that overlap — and once you start to have that capacity you can start to teach a bit of it."

Teaching at the Laurentian University School of Architecture was set to begin on Wednesday.