The doors to the Lloydminster Cultural and Science Centre are now permanently closed to the public due to safety concerns.
City council made the decision to close the building effective immediately at a special council meeting on July 7. The decision comes following the decision to find a new temporary space for programs, services and displays for the next 10 years as the current facility is reaching the end of its usable life.
An inspection of the building found many problems including continuous water leaks and the potential for an HVAC system failure. A report indicated that renovating the main building would be a more expensive option than tearing down the facility and building something new.
Councillor Michael Diachuk says council has to continue moving forward and the decision was made to help protect staff and pieces within the facility.
“We reached a point where, even things happening in the past 30 to 60 days, we see the building failing. Part of the messaging we’re hearing is even if we tried to maintain it, if we have another serious rain then we’re going to be behind the eight ball again in trying to save whatever we can within the building and protect what we have.”
The estimated cost to renovate a temporary space and relocate the LCSC is about $1.8 million. City council is expecting to hear an update on possible locations at the next council meeting on July 20th.
The City’s communications team is also working on a project that will allow residents to see the displays as they were before the pandemic.
“You’ll be able to take a virtual tour, in essence, of the Fuch’s display,” Mayor Gerald Aalbers says. “It may not be as close or as personal as you could have before the facility was closed but, you’ll get a pretty good representation of what was in the Fuch’s collection.”
It will also include the OTS display and the Imhoff Gallery.
City staff will also begin planning for the decommission and demolition of the building for 2021. If the city moves forward with the demolition in 2021, Aalbers says it will be included in next year’s budget.