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Ryerson is looking to put both academic and athletic programs in Maple Leaf Gardens should the school acquire the historic property.

Alan Shepard, provost and vice-president academic, said the building will not only be an outpost for athletes, it will have to be accessible to all students. The concern is making the programs more inclusive to the campus and integrating the site into Ryerson, so it’s more than just an add-on.

But planning is still in its early stages and nothing has been confirmed yet, he added.

University executives met after-hours on Sunday, Oct. 25 to brainstorm what the next steps would be should a deal be struck, said President Sheldon Levy.

Meanwhile, Ryerson is still waiting for a $20 million funding approval for the facility from the federal government.

“You’re sitting there waiting… and you can’t pursue other options,” said Levy, adding that Ryerson will have to move very quickly if it secures the building.

Toronto Centre MP Bob Rae has spoken to John Baird, federal transport minister about the prospect of funding.

“My sense is Mr. Baird himself has been very open to any conversations that I’ve had with him. So I remain optimistic that we’re going to be able to do something,” Rae said.

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