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More work to be done to ensure future of Kemptville Agricultural College

There's still much work to be done to ensure the Kemptville Agricultural College is viable for years to come.

Despite a $2-million injection by the province to keep the campus open one more academic year, there is still worry about what the future holds.

Tuesday's announcement bought interested groups like Algonquin and St. Lawrence Colleges more time to shore up offers to take over programming at the campus from the University of Guelph.

Algonquin only expects to report back in June and Leeds-Grenville MPP Steve Clark told CFRA that's not soon enough.

"I don't think they're anywhere near where we need them to be to be able to offer content here on campus at Kemptville," he said. "Not to say that they won't join the game at some point down the road, but at least my initial reaction from both of them is it's great they're interested but they're not on our time frame. We needed the decision, actually a couple of weeks ago and now we're going to have to fight to continue to have students who were looking at coming here, knowing that we are open and that we are a viable option."

North Grenville Mayor David Gordon said there are a number of other parties, including an American college showing interest, but until the government hires a provincial facilitator, their hands are tied.

"Without the facilitator onside, we can't sit down with these people and say 'okay, it's time to sign the contracts,'" he said.

Another concern is the fact that the new cohort of students being welcomed in the fall will only be able to take trades courses. The college will not offer agriculture diploma programs to new students.

That's something the Kemptville College Renewal Task Force, which was created within the North Grenville community, will discuss during a meeting scheduled for Thursday night.

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