Myths busted and Frequently asked questions

The partnership

Fact:

Conexus responded to a request for proposals (RFP) by the University of Regina who was looking for a partner. There were four criteria for the development in that RFP and Conexus was able to meet all four of them.

  • Help restore College Avenue Campus – That $8 million you hear mentioned will help with this.
  • Expand Darke Hall functionality – This is where the location of the building is key. Our building will be located right next to Darke Hall helping to make a significant difference because we can utilize a shared atrium and mechanical systems.
  • Improve accessibility for Darke Hall – We will solve the accessibility challenges so anyone can enjoy a performance.
  • Offer a centre for leadership and outreach – We are creating a one of a kind business incubator to support Saskatchewan start-ups and microbusinesses.

Fact:

This has been a very public process:

  • The land proposed for our building was designated for future development in the Wascana Centre Master Plan released in May 2016. The process of developing that Master Plan included three public meetings in 2015 and an online survey.
  • In June 2016, the University of Regina held two open public sessions on its proposed partnership with Conexus. The sessions were advertised twice in the Leader Post and about 25,000 students, faculty, staff, alumni and members of the public received invitations by email. The consultations were publicized during a media event June 8 when the university announced Conexus as the successful partner. This news conference was well-attended and well-covered by Regina media.
  • Business groups, heritage groups and others attended a series of targeted meetings on the proposal.
  • Conexus designed this website to keep our members and the public informed about the project.

  • Conexus has made a commitment to share the design once it is approved by the Provincial Capital Commission 

     

As a Saskatchewan-based co-operative we’re deeply committed to the province and communities we serve. This partnership reflects our continuing commitment to co-operative principles and our 80 plus year tradition of serving this community. Credit unions are builders who invest in Saskatchewan people and communities to make a difference on the quality of life in this province.

Conexus is a strong supporter of education, arts and culture. Our contribution of up to $8.25 million to the College Avenue Campus renewal project is a prime example of this. It will help the University of Regina restore Darke Hall and the historic campus, turning it into an educational and cultural hub. That’s good for our community and good for our members. 

On a day-to-day basis, you won’t notice much difference. The new building won’t be a branch serving Conexus members.

We’re building an office space that will allow us to bring our corporate services employees under one roof. This change will help us work more efficiently and effectively, which is something that will benefit all members in the long run. We believe it will:

  • result in highly engaged employees delivering focused and relevant products and services that meet the needs of our members
  • help us retain and attract the world-class, expert employees we need to keep pace with our members’ growing needs
  • help us gain efficiencies in office space and reduce travel between multiple locations

This project is also about giving back to the community as we help the University of Regina save a beloved campus and work to create an educational and cultural hub that will be there for our kids and grandkids.

The building

Fact:

The building is located on College Avenue Campus, just outside of the park in Wascana Centre. We have worked with the Provincial Capital Commission (PCC), who are stewards of the park, on a reforestation plan. The PCC and its partners in the park have completed successful tree moves, removals and replacements in the past. Any trees that can’t be relocated will be replaced in other areas of the park at a 3 to 1 ratio.

Fact: 

You won’t see customers coming and going to the building. It is being designed for our Regina corporate services employees who are currently located throughout the city.

Plus, Conexus employees and any building tenants will be coming and going via College Avenue, Ramsey Drive and Hamilton street to the north of the park. This will help avoid heavy traffic further south on Wascana Drive. 

Did you also know that because of this project, the Wascana Drive /College Avenue intersection will be straightened and have a traffic signal? This will improve the safety of the intersection for vehicles, bikes and foot traffic.

Fact:

New parking will be developed underground. Plus, Conexus will lease 100 existing parking spaces from the University of Regina that will be available for public use outside of business hours. Public parking will also be available on the east side of the newly designed section of Wascana Drive and on Ramsey Drive.  

Fact:

Conexus is unaware of any further commercial activities in Wascana Centre. We don’t support commercialization of the park just for the sake of building in it. We support our project because we can solve a number of community challenges by entering a unique partnership with the University of Regina and, at the same time, support the revitalization of College Avenue Campus. We are member-owned organization with an 80 plus year history of supporting our communities in Saskatchewan who is partnering with another community organization.

Yes. Conexus will pay property taxes. Revenue will also come to the City of Regina via servicing agreement fees and building permits. In addition, Wascana Centre will benefit from land use and development fees paid by Conexus for the initial development, as well as annual licensing fees.

You may also be interested to know that the cost of any roadwork associated with the project is shared between Conexus and the University of Regina. Conexus will cover items such as costs for sidewalks and road construction associated with the relocation of Wascana Drive, Ramsay Drive, and Old Campus Road to accommodate the building site.

Conexus leases or owns almost 80,000 square feet of office space in a number of locations throughout Regina. Over the last several years, we’ve looked for ways to consolidate our administrative office space to help us work more efficiently and effectively. During our search, we considered 17 sites to construct buildings ranging from 40,000 to 250,000 square feet.

The University of Regina released a public request for proposals looking for a development partner to assist in the restoration of College Avenue Campus in January 2016. We saw the potential for an innovative and creative solution to our challenge of consolidating our administrative staff while doing something good for the community.

We already own or lease office space at a number of different locations in Regina. Building a new corporate office to consolidate our corporate services employees will have little or no impact to our capital or earnings over the long-term.

Our partnership with the University of Regina also includes a contribution toward the College Avenue Campus renewal project. This is an investment in the province and a commitment to education in Saskatchewan.

Wascana Centre is already home to other businesses and corporate facilities. This includes the CBC building, office spaces like the ministries of Health and Environment, the former sound stage, the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, The Conexus Arts Centre and the restaurant Willow on Wascana.

You won’t see any retail activity in our new building. It will house our corporate services employees who currently work from a number of different locations across the city.

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