The Fields Institute Turns Twenty-Five 170725 Final book with covers - Page 74

52 John Gardner Fields Institute was housed at Waterloo, I chaired the Business Board of the University of Toronto Governing Council. During the first four years of the Institute’s life there was a frantic bidding war amongst the universities that wanted to host the Institute. The University of Toronto and its President, Rob Prichard, were particularly forceful. Rob was also concerned about enhancing the physical integrity of the campus with respect to its geographic boundaries. There was a parking lot on the site now occupied by the Institute. A second site under serious consideration was the Boys’ and Girls’ House Library at 40 St. George Street, then for sale by the City of Toronto. From the point of view of the Business Board, the issues focused on were: 1. The design and construction of a building that would enable the Institute to achieve its mission. 2. The establishment of an ongoing financial arrangement with the Institute that would cover the costs of constructing and maintaining the building. 3. Securing sources of funding. Rob not only had to sell those responsible for the embryonic institute on a suitable location, but also the Governing Council on a project that was financially viable. Hence the host university status and agreeme nt. Shortly after the decisions were taken and the Institute was on its way to its location on College Street, I reached my term limit on the Governing Council. For my sins, I was asked if I was willing to be a member of the Fields Board of Directors. Thus began my twenty-year direct relationship with the Institute.