The Lloydminster Cultural and Science Centre won’t be moving too far from its original location on 4515 44th Street.
City council voted 5-2 in favour of leasing a temporary space from Musgrave Agencies at a property on 4207 44th Street. Currently, the space is an empty lot, but the company will soon begin construction on a new building.
Mayor Gerald Aalbers says city staff will now begin the paperwork process to get work started as soon as possible. He says one of the major challenges is getting the groundwork ready before the winter.
“If we get a nice break in weather and get into November, we could have a lot of progress on the groundwork. They’ll be able to get the infrastructure in, but will they get the parking lot finished? That will be a challenge, but I’m sure they’re up to the challenge and we know the construction industry here is looking for work, so I’m sure it’ll be full steam ahead.”
The building is expected to be complete by May 2021 and would house programming, city artifact displays, travelling displays, the Lloydminster Regional Archives and the cultural administration offices.
The estimated cost for leasing the 11,450 square foot temporary space over 10 years is $2.796 million. A point of discussion in the meeting was comparing the price for the space with the cheapest option being $2.299 million over 10 years at 4206 66th Avenue.
Councillors Ken Baker and Glenn Fagnan voted against the motion. Fagnan says his decision was made based on what he heard from community members.
“Most of the individuals that I spoke with were in favour of going with a lower price considering that it is going to be a temporary fix for five years. It might be a little bit longer, but still that $50,000 a year does add up especially when you couple it with the situation that we’re in this country and globally.”
As part of the 2020 budget, the city set aside $1.5 million for the relocation. In the meeting, City Manager Dion Pollard mentioned the Musgrave Agencies bid had a significantly lower cost of entry at around the $300,000 mark. The other two options would fall closer to $1 million for renovations and moving costs.
The new building would also allow the city an opportunity to customize the space to their needs immediately and it would be unlikely it would need additional repairs over several years. Another benefit noted by administration was the location being near the current LCSC facility.
“Having them conveniently close to each other makes it easier for the schools in transporting and making arrangements to see the outside exhibits and the inside exhibits,” Aalbers says. “They can do that fairly easily within a block rather than traversing back and forth across town.”
Aalbers also says adding a new building to the city will have long-term benefits including being able to tax the property once the lease is up.
“In the long-term it’s always added value to the city especially having the development on Highway 16. I think in the long haul it was the right decision and time will tell.”
He adds the Alberta Minister of Municipal Affairs indicated provincial grant funding for the construction of new projects will be tougher to secure in the near future.
The LCSC was deemed near end of life last year due to several structural and HVAC issues. It was shut down in the early stages of the pandemic and city council made the decision to keep it permanently closed to the public when the city began to re-open.