March 25, 2023

BY SCOTT BLINKHORNsb-csireccenter

The new athletics and recreation centre may be paid for earlier than expected according to a report given to the Conestoga Students Inc. (CSI) board of directors.

At a meeting of the board on Nov. 28, Mike Dinning, Conestoga’s vice-president of student affairs, said the original estimation was the mortgage would be paid off in 16 years. The estimate was based on the assumption that enrollment would increase by two per cent every year, and that the student priority fee would increase at a rate of three per cent every year.

The student priority fee’s purpose is to pay for projects, initiatives and services that are considered to be a direct benefit to students. CSI and the college work together to determine what the money is used for.
The recreation centre is also paid for in part by the recreation/athletic fee, which is mandatory for full-time students at the Cambridge and Doon campuses.

The new report, which suggested that payment of the recreation centre could be met a year earlier than expected, was based on the assumption of a yearly two per cent increase in tuition (which includes the student priority fee and recreation/athletics fee). According to Dinning, this was an attempt to keep estimates conservative.

“Because of the recent increases in enrolment we find ourselves in a bit more of a flexible position,” Dinning said. “This means we have a bit more leeway when it comes to the fee increases and how quickly the facility is paid for.”

Other factors affecting the payment schedule included a lower mortgage rate than was expected. According to Dinning, the estimate for the mortgage rate was five per cent, but the actual rate is about half of that.

The new recreation centre was funded by both CSI and the college with a final cost of about $19 million. Once the building is paid off CSI will be responsible for the centre’s operating fees.

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