Lambton College wanted county commitment before meeting feds

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It’s an ace Judy Morris would have liked to be holding in her hand.

The president of Lambton College is disappointed after Lambton County Council delayed a decision on providing $5 million over 10 years for a new Health Sciences Centre at the college.

The decision was supposed to be made during the recent budget meetings, but councilors put off the decision at Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley’s request.

Bradley asked for a 45-day delay so he and Warden Todd Case can talk with Morris about the possibility of locating the Health Sciences Centre at the Bayside Mall.

“As you around the table all know,  the county and city very involved in the Bayside Mall and its future,” Bradley told councilors “there will be no impact if we table (delay) it so the two heads of council and staff to fully brief the college on the opportunities available.

“Too often we’ve allowed things to continue on one track without looking at all the opportunities.”

The idea of moving the health sciences building downtown is not a new one. Bradley broached the subject when Morris came to council in February. Then, she said it wasn’t a viable option. Morris hasn’t changed her mind.

“I’m always happy to have some discussions with the mayor about the mall, but nothing has changed as far as we’re concerned,” says Morris.

Morris says the timing of the delay is unfortunate since Lambton College officials head to Ottawa this week to meet with two federal cabinet ministers about the possibility of funding for the $30 million project.

“This would have been nice because it would have given us a bit of leverage,” she says. “It’s unfortunate timing.”