NSCAD's downtown dilemma

The art school's moving out of its Granville Mall home.

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Those guardian lions at the entrance to Granville Mall can't save NSCAD's Fountain Campus. - KRISTA LEGER
  • Krista Leger
  • Those guardian lions at the entrance to Granville Mall can't save NSCAD's Fountain Campus.

The Board of Governors sealed the school's fate Friday night, approving this resolution: "Be it resolved that NSCAD management proceed with the planning of an exit strategy from the Fountain Campus facility on or before the year end 2019." Even BoG member Margaret Fountain, NSCAD's great benefactor and namesake of the beloved Granville Mall rabbit warren, spoke up for the exit strategy plan, and she joined the unanimous vote in favour. While NSCAD leaving that bizarre, wonderful, confusing collection of old buildings feels like a big loss for the heart of downtown, the official explanation makes sense. In a nutshell, a $3 million gift last year from Margaret and her husband David got the school thinking about doing renovations, but the more people thought the more they realized moving to a new "integrated campus" would be better. “I think we all came to realize that as generous as the gift was, historic properties need so much more,” is the way NSCAD's president, Dianne Taylor-Gearing, put it. “As charming as the Fountain Campus is, it’s time to pause and rethink plans for the future.”

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