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Former Collège d'Alfred buildings. Photo: James Morgan

Future still unknown for Alfred campus buildings

The buildings are still there, but the future use of the former Collège d’Alfred complex remains unknown.  The Union des cultivateurs franco-ontariens (UCFO) uses the former college barns and buildings below the hill at the end of St-Jean Street for its FERCA research dairy farm and office.  In 2019, efforts to develop the campus buildings on St-Jean Street and St-Philippe Street (Highway 17) as an educational and community space involving Collège La Cité and the Prescott-Russell Community Development Corporation were unsuccessful.

According to Janie Miner of UCFO, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) continues have an office in one of the buildings but most of the space is vacant.  UCFO has no presence in the buildings but completely owns and operates the nearby FERCA land.

A spokesperson for Glengarry-Prescott and Russell Member of Provincial Parliament Amanda Simard said that her office is unaware of any developments regarding the future of the buildings.  Simard is hopeful that the provincial government will listen to local stakeholders and decide on the future of the site that is beneficial to the community.

Collège d’Alfred opened in 1981 as Ontario’s only French-language agricultural college.  It was operated directly by OMAFRA until the 1990’s when it became a campus of the University of Guelph.  The college closed in 2014 but the buildings remain owned by the Province of Ontario.  Collège La Cité offered some courses at the site until 2019.

James Morgan

James Morgan is a freelance contributor. He has worked for several print and broadcast media outlets. James loves the history, natural beauty, and people of eastern Ontario and western Quebec.

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