The city is looking for the community’s thoughts on the future of the Lloydminster Cultural and Science Centre as they look for a new location to house the current displays and programs.

A report was completed on the current condition of the LCSC last summer. It found the centre was at the end of its useful life and it could potentially cost more to renovate the building than it was to demolish it and build a new one.

City staff made three recommendations to council at the meeting on February 24. The first was to negotiate a 10-year lease for a temporary space for the LCSC. The second was to decommission the building after acquiring the lease and third was to begin planning on a new facility on the current LCSC site.

The estimated cost to renovate a temporary space and relocate the LCSC is about $1.8 million. Some of the current items will move into the new space while Lakeland College will be taking others for some time.

City council decided to move forward with the first recommendation but many councillors felt the public had not had enough time to share their concerns on the future of the centre. Councilor Aaron Buckingham says he was told by residents that when the report was publicly released there wasn’t enough time to digest all the information.

“We’ve been dealing with this for a while as council but to have the report come out and be published late last week and have it come to council for decision today, it was felt by many that it wasn’t the right thing to do.”

Councillor Jonathan Torreson made the amendment to the motion to move forward with the lease negotiations while also engaging with Lloydminster residents on the LCSC believing it is a good compromise.

“We don’t necessarily have to tackle it all right now because we do have a new fire hall we need to build. We have a new wastewater treatment plant we need to build and potentially a new Civic Centre type building that needs to be planned into the capital plan. This route gives us a chance to both get into a space that is better for the public to visit and does it at a cost we may be able to afford.”

Councilor Michael Diachuk was the only councillor to oppose the motion saying the engagement sessions wouldn’t have an effect on the three recommendations that were brought before council.

As city staff begin negotiating a lease, the city will also be holding engagement sessions in the near future on the future direction of the LCSC.