Holland College announces $10.9M expansion
P.E.I.'s Holland College announced Friday it is creating a new waterfront campus in Summerside.
The college has purchased the Waterfront Mall for bargain $1.5 million — the property is appraised at about $4.4 million.
The Mall will be turned into the college's waterfront campus, offering courses to about 250 students.
Summerside Waterfront Mall was first built by the Summerside Regional Development Corporation, and was successful, but then fell into decline when the big retail chains moved to Granville Street.
The Ireland-based Oran Group bought the mall in 2006. It announced plans to build 100 condominiums on top of the mall and do a major renovation at a cost of $25-million.
Work was to begin in the spring of 2007, but the project kept being delayed. The mall was put into receivership in 2009 with almost no occupancy.
The college will spend a further $9.4 million to convert it into a new campus. The province and ACOA are each contributing $1 million to the project.
Holland College is in a period of rapid growth, now with about $60 million in projects either on the go or on the planning board.
The campus at Slemon Park, just outside of Summerside, will remain open, but some programs will move to the Summerside Waterfront Campus. In particular, the campus will be the centre for the college's marine training program.
The campus is planned to open in the fall of 2012.
Some of the commercial operations in the mall will remain open as part of the campus, including the provincial liquor store.