Conexus Credit Union is building a new head office while helping the University of Regina preserve the College Avenue Campus and Darke Hall.
Conexus announced plans to build their new office in Wascana Park beside Darke Hall, along with building a plaza and fixing the Lorne Street and Wascana Drive intersection to make it safer.
CEO of Conexus Eric Dillon said this solves two problems with one solution.
“We saw the University of Regina’s request for help as a way to make a 100 year impact on the community while at the same time solving our challenges,” said Dillon. “I don’t think other organizations think the way we do by solving a community challenge and a business challenge at the same time.”
Dillon said they will split the space with the venue and make it better for all to enjoy.
“We’ve made a large part of the building accessible to the community. So, first and foremost the shared space with Darke Hall. So, if you’re going to enjoy a performance, you would come in in a way that enhances mobility and accessibility,” said Dillon. “Then we can think about an amenities type things. Public washrooms, Cafe, refilling stations, bike racks, enhanced paths. We believe those are things communities will love once it’s all done.”
The project is expected to be complete by spring of 2020.
No Business in Park protesting against the Conexus announcement
The new Conexus office announcement was met with criticism by protesters at Evraz Place.
The protest group No Business in The Park gathered at the Credit Union Eventplex doors over the noon hour Wednesday, as Conexus unveiled their plans for their new building.
Protester Jackie Kuikman said this project is taking place without any public consultation.
“I think it was a good thing for the University of Regina to do this, but now this has opened the door for further development by Brandt. Possibly even other corporations. We don’t think there’s any place in the park for organizations to take over the land,” said Kuikman. “Now there is an open wound in the park, with no trees to make way for parking lots. So, what’s happened is that the Wascana Park authority has disbanded.”
Kuikman said now with the park being under the authority of the provincial government, there aren’t the same “checks and balances” to protect the park.
“We’re going to lose the park if further development is not stopped. That’s why we’re here. We’re here to inform the public about what’s happening and garner further support.”
With files from Brandon Graziano