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More community input needed on future of LCSC

The subject of how to move forward with the Lloydminster Culture and Science Centre was back on city council’s agenda on Monday.

Council received an update on the condition of the facility which noted a roof leak in the Imhoff Gallery and Fuch’s Hallway in March as well as a gas leak in piping around the building at the end of April.

At the February 24 council meeting, city council told staff to hold an engagement session to get community feedback before negotiating a 10-year lease for a temporary location for the LCSC. Since then, city staff has come up with several in-house options before leasing another space.

One option would be to develop the PSM Parks Centre in Bud Miller Park. The parks centre would be able to hold the Lloydminster Archives or LCSC programming but not both. It would also cost $500,000 to upgrade the parks centre.

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A space in the Servus Sports Centre would be available in early 2021 which is large enough for the archives, programming and cultural staff offices. It would save the city from finding another space and about $647,000 a year after a $400,000 renovation. The space would not be able to accommodate the travelling exhibits or large displays currently in the LCSC. The city would also lose about $100,000 as they would no longer be leasing the space in the sports centre. 

The former Saskatchewan Tourism Building could also be renovated to provide office space for Collections Management staff and artifacts could be stored in the Red Barn on the Museum Grounds. By utilizing city facilities for LCSC programming and archives, it would save the city $647,000 in operating costs and $920,000 in capital costs.

City council did not make a decision on whether to pursue a new space or use city property at the meeting. Mayor Gerald Aalbers says there are still more financial impacts that need to be accounted for before making a decision.

“It will be further discussed with administration and drilled down to ensure the total cost for both options. We have an annual budget and there will be a fixed number so the whole overall picture can be seen. There’s implications for 2020 and 2021 depending on which option is chosen.” 

“We’re at a unique point where we’re trying to find a balance and no matter where the council will land not everyone will be happy with that decision because we won’t be able to satisfy everybody,” he says.

Aalbers says the 10-year lease window is deceptively short and would like to hear the community’s thoughts on the options.

“Where is the best place to put what money? There’s a series of questions there on how much money do we spend today so we can actually get to that 10-year target we’ve had to try and secure a permanent home for the LCSC.” 

The city will be releasing a survey on its website about the facilities future soon. 

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“What does the community need? What does the community want and what can the community afford? Those are all very important discussions as there’s been a lot of numbers that have been set forward for a permanent structure.”

A report was done last summer on the LCSC’s condition and how long it would be usable. The report found the facility was in need of major repairs and it could potentially cost more to renovate it than it was to demolish it and build a new one.

“This has been worked on for several years by previous councils. I’m hoping we can come to some sort of arrangement that gives direction to the community as well as administration on where we need to move and set a long term plan as best as we can determine that today.”

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