Our Curious Municipal Campus

Lately, a lot of attention has been focused on the sculpture commissioned for the entrance to the new InnPower (Innisfil Hydro) building – a small element of a multi-million dollar project. This construction project is described as part of a “Municipal and Administrative Campus”. Before the new Town Hall was even opened in 2008, I recall former mayor, Brian Jackson, boasting that we would be creating a ‘campus’ at the site. I’m not aware of any public discussion taking place or plans being presented, either before or since, about this campus which now consists of the Town Hall, police station, Innisfil Recreation Complex, Hydro and public works facilities, and a proposed medical centre.

It may make economic sense to cluster municipal services together, but what are the boundaries of this campus? The buildings are spread far enough apart to require a vehicle – especially in winter – to get from one to another. As it stands, this type of campus is an outdated planning concept designed for the automobile. When was it planned and approved for Innisfil? What’s the rest of the plan? Is there one, or is it coming together randomly?

The InnPower building has made provision for rental of surplus space for commercial purposes until it is needed in the future. The separate medical centre concept would also house some commercial/retail space. Is this campus intended to serve as a local retail hub? If so, what other building additions are planned for this site? Is it part of a larger development plan for the Barclay neighbourhood?