Red Deer College business students will be missed when their classes move to the school’s main camp in January, says the executive director of the Red Deer Downtown Business Association.
On Monday, RDC announced the Donald School of Business will leave the Millennium Centre.
Amanda Gould said business students patronize downtown merchants, and said it’s a shame they are leaving.
“But I’m sure with (the college’s) other plans, there will be an influx of students,” Gould said.
The downtown campus will instead be used by adult learners and businesses through RDC’s school of continuing education, including English-as-a-second language students.
The Donald School of Business expects almost 900 students to attend classes in its nine programs during the upcoming academic year. The downtown school opened in 2011 and is named after Red Deer entrepreneurs Jack and Joan Donald.
Students won’t be returning to either the main campus or downtown this fall. RDC will be delivering fall classes online due to the uncertainty created by the pandemic.
Even if COVID-19 restrictions are lifted before classes begin, the fall semester will only operate online.
In the meantime, downtown stores and businesses are slowly starting to reopen to customers since COVID-19’s arrival. Wednesday, the weekly Downtown Red Deer Market will return for a new season.
“We’re looking forward to (the market). We’ve had to put a lot of physically distancing practices in place, but we’ve got all our approvals from the city, so we’re ready to go,” said Gould.
She said it will be awhile before the true impact of the pandemic is known. The business association will be launching new advertising in early July to create more foot traffic.
“I think we’re going to see a different downtown post-COVID. We’ve got to do whatever it is that we can to support them and make sure that they have a good environment to operate in.”