Planning for Future Growth of Trent University Durham GTA with Strategic Land Acquisition

by ahnationtalk on July 3, 2020792 Views

June 29, 2020

Appointment of alumna to Trent’s Board of Governors, Forensics Crime Scene Facility update, and annual report on Indigenous community relations among other Board business at June meeting

The Trent University Board of Governors held its sixth regular meeting of the academic year, virtually, on June 26, 2020.

Property Acquisition Affirms Plans for Growth and Expansion at Trent Durham in the GTA

Trent University’s Board of Governors approved the purchase of four properties that are adjacent to the Trent Durham GTA campus. Acquisition of this 1.9 acre parcel of land lays the groundwork for continued growth at the Thornton Road campus. Short and long-term use of the land, located close to the GO train planned for Oshawa and planned development of Oshawa transit along King Street, is to be determined, however it could help to address pending space needs for faculty and students, as well as an investment property for the University.

“This land purchase was an important opportunity to further affirm Trent’s commitment to the Oshawa community and the Durham Region,” said Dr. Leo Groarke, president and vice-chancellor of Trent University. “The expansion will alleviate some immediate needs on the Durham campus and cement the University’s long-term plans for strategic program development and growth in the Greater Toronto Area.”

Dr. Scott Henderson, dean and head of Trent University Durham GTA, added: “Strategically and as a signal of Trent’s long-term presence in Oshawa, the acquisition of this key parcel is meaningful. The desirability of our programming, and our location in a rapidly developing part of the GTA means that we have great growth potential and need for more space, even with the opening of our new building. With our overall enrolment growing year over year, this acquisition will allow us to relocate some existing offices, labs and services, and give us the ability to welcome more students. In the longer term, this gives us space to develop new facilities that will meet the needs of the next generation of students.”

Trent Durham New Building and Renovation

Board members also received an update on the Trent Durham GTA expansion project and its two initiatives: the construction of a new residence and academic building, as well as renovations of the existing facility.

The contemporary six-storey building project is a partnership with Campus Living Centres and is moving at a rapid pace, with the opening of the new facility expected by the end of August 2020. The new residence will provide single rooms that will allow for the physical distancing students will need due to COVID-19 this fall. The renovations of the existing facility, including the addition of a full-service campus dining facility featuring made from scratch, locally-sourced homestyle meals, international flavours and green environmental certifications, is moving forward toward completion tentatively scheduled for the beginning of September 2020.

Trent Alumna Jaime McKenna Appointed as Newest External Member of Board of Governors

Trent University’s Board of Governors approved the appointment of alumna Jaime McKenna as an external member of the Trent University Board of Governors. Jaime McKenna (‘97) was appointed for a three-year term, commencing July 1, 2020 and ending June 30, 2023.

Ms. McKenna is currently the managing director and head of real estate for Fengate Asset Management, and is responsible for Fengate’s real estate business and is a member of the executive team. Previously, Ms. McKenna was the chief investment officer at Minto Group, as well as holding senior positions at Minto Capital, Minto Properties Inc., and Developments Inc.

Ms. McKenna is a Trent alumna having graduated with a B.B.A. in Business/Managerial Economics from Trent University.

Forensic Crime Scene Facility Report

Board members also received an update on the construction of the new Forensic Crime Scene Facility on the University’s Symons Campus in Peterborough. With the existing Crime Scene House approaching the end of its useful life, the construction of a new facility was announced in February 2020. The building will be the first-of-its-kind professional forensics training facility to be constructed on a Canadian university campus, with a goal to be Canada’s first zero-carbon building certified by the International Living Future Institute.

While construction had been delayed by three to four weeks due to essential workplace limits related to COVID-19, work has now commenced with the arrival of sustainable building materials that will be used to construct the foundation of the facility. The hempcrete blocks that will be used to construct the walls of the facility will arrive soon and significantly contribute to the project goal of zero carbon. The targeted completion for the new facility is in Winter 2020/21.

Annual Report on Indigenous Community Relations Report

Vice-president of External Relations & Advancement Julie Davis provided Board members with an annual report on Indigenous community relations. Regular and ongoing meetings continue with the Elders and Traditional Knowledge Keepers Council (ETKKC) and the Michi Saagiig Consultation Officers which have helped further the work of the Trent Lands and Nature Areas Plan. Additional work continues to recognize the Michi Saagiig at the entrance of the Symons Campus, to relocate the Inuksuk to an appropriate location on campus, and to further recognition on both of Trent’s campuses.

Annual Report on Alumni Relations

The Board of Governors also received the Annual Report on Alumni Relations. Highlights of the report included recent campaigns to support Trent students such as TrentUCares, the Trent Talks alumni lecture series hosted by Chancellor Stephen Stohn, as well as Grad From Your Pad – a virtual grad celebration held on June 13 that provided new Trent graduates a moment to celebrate their success.

About Trent University

One of Canada’s top universities, Trent University was founded on the ideal of interactive learning that’s personal, purposeful and transformative. Consistently recognized nationally for leadership in teaching, research and student satisfaction, Trent attracts excellent students from across the country and around the world. Here, undergraduate and graduate students connect and collaborate with faculty, staff and their peers through diverse communities that span residential colleges, classrooms, disciplines, hands-on research, co-curricular and community-based activities. Across all disciplines, Trent brings critical, integrative thinking to life every day. Today, Trent’s unique approach to personal development through supportive, collaborative community engagement is in more demand than ever. Students lead the way by co-creating experiences rooted in dialogue, diverse perspectives and collaboration. In a learning environment that builds life-long passion for inclusion, leadership and social change, Trent’s students, alumni, faculty and staff are engaged global citizens who are catalysts in developing sustainable solutions to complex issues. Trent’s Peterborough campus boasts award-winning architecture in a breathtaking natural setting on the banks of the Otonabee River, just 90 minutes from downtown Toronto, while Trent University Durham Greater Toronto Area, delivers a distinct mix of programming in the east GTA.

For more information contact:

Cara Walsh, communications & media relations officer, Trent University, (705) 748-1011 x6240 or

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