Centennial College is Ontario’s first community college, established in 1966, primarily serving the eastern portion of the Greater Toronto Area through four campuses and seven satellite locations. It has a record of exemplary teaching, innovative programming and extensive partnership building. Centennial College is recognized as one of the most culturally diverse post-secondary institutions in Canada. Nearly 100 ethnocultural groups are represented and 80 languages are spoken on campus.
Centennial College engaged Scion Advisory Services to conduct a feasibility study for a new student residence to serve its Progress and Ashtonbee campuses. Scion assessed current and future demand for student housing at the College and developed a business plan for a new student residence. Scion’s assessment during the market and demand analysis phase included the administration of a student survey, facilitating student focus group sessions, reviewing the local rental housing market and interviewing key College stakeholders.
During the business planning phase, Scion tested the financial feasibility of possible options for a new student residence including College and Ministry financing, design-build delivery and a design, build, finance, operate and maintain (DBFOM) structure. The feasibility study found that the College has significant demand for additional student housing on the Progress campus at sustainable rental rates, particularly for unit types offering more private configurations than the existing residence.
Following completion of the student housing feasibility study, the College engaged Scion to advise on the selection of a development partner for the DBFOM P3 delivery of a new student residence on its Progress campus in Scarborough. The College successfully selected a partner and agreed to terms that included adding in a new facility for the Faculty of Culinary Arts and Hospitality including state of the art teaching classrooms; teaching kitchens featuring integrated technology and the newest cooking facilities in complete view of the public hallway; a 12 month conference centre and boutique hotel that provides service, generates revenue and provides a living laboratory for the students to operate; and a full service restaurant completely operated by the students and serving the public, residents and conference guests. The College leases the additional facility (built into the residence complex) from the developer while retaining the revenue from the hotel, conference centre, government funding supporting the academic program, restaurant and a percentage related to the high occupancy of the residence.
Centennial College was a Scion client throughout their process of preparation and studies for residence and Scion served as their advisor throughout the search process for a development partner. The new eight-story student residence opened in Fall 2016 and houses 740 students in residence along with the College’s new Culinary Arts Centre including a restaurant, conference and banquet facility. The $85-million project is LEED Gold-certified.