U of S shuts down Emma Lake Kenderdine campus

By James Bowler
November 16, 2012 - 5:53pm Updated: July 2, 2014 - 10:42am

Students enrolled at the Emma Lake Kenderdine campus of the University of Saskatchewan will be uprooted.

The university recently announced a temporary suspension of the campus after financial concerns became apparent in the need for repairs to the campus' facilities to bring them up to standard.

“We’ve got a growing gap between our revenues and our expenses and by 2016 we’re looking at a gap of about 44.5 million a year,” said Greg Fowler, acting vice-president of finance and resources at the University of Saskatchewan.

Fowler said that while the budget is small at Kenderdine, the University will save about $500,000 a year from suspending the campus due to high costs to operate the facilities which are in need of dire repair.

Twyla Exner of the Mann Art Gallery in Prince Albert used to be the Operations Manager for the campus.

Exner said that the campus, being nearly 80 years old, should be considered a heritage site, which could help with some of the expenditures that are caused due to the poor condition to some of the buildings on site.

“I think it’s a terrible loss for the province,” said Exner, “Emma lake has a really really rich history, and it really should at some point been designated as a heritage point for the province.”

Exner said that the campus itself was one of the first to offer artistry programs.

“To have that site be the hub of activities for so long and to see it cast away so quickly is very disappointing,” said Exner, “specially at a time when Saskatchewan is in an era of economic prosperity to not see that investment reflected in our culture is very concerning.”

Fowler stressed the point that this suspension is only temporary and that the University is looking at all options in order to keep the campus running as well as bringing it up to date with its facilities.

“In terms of approaching the government we’d be looking at this three year period to take some time, bring the community together, and reflect on what we could do with the campus in the future,” said Fowler, “Then we’ll try to put a business case together that also sits in with the art community and the biology courses taught up there.”

The campus itself is looking at a few million dollars in repairs in order to bring it up to today’s standards.

“I think the thought process is, what’s sustainable for it in the future,” said Fowler, “what’s being developed around it to support it, and does the University want to continue to run courses up there.”

The University will spend three years considering all options for the campus before making its final decision in 2016 on whether to keep running it or shut it down for good.

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