Motion calls for suspension of downtown Sudbury library and art gallery project
A motion presented to city council next week calls for the suspension of the Junction East project, which would see a new library and art gallery built in downtown Sudbury.
The motion, from Ward 11 council. Bill Leduc cites COVID-19 as the reason for shutting down the project.
“The pandemic and its associated consequences have created a climate of financial uncertainty, increased risks and unforeseen budgetary demands,” the motion reads.
“The downtown area is experiencing unprecedented challenges due to the pandemic and it takes time to resolve these challenges and assess future needs. “
The motion comes after a report last summer said Junction East costs had risen 21%.
The plans include a 62,000 square foot downtown building, slated to open in 2024, housing a new central library and a new Sudbury art gallery. It will be built on Shaughnessy Street in downtown Sudbury, in the parking lot next to the Sudbury Theater Center.
The Sudbury Theater Center and the Sudbury Multicultural and Folk Arts Association are partnering with the project. Initial estimates for the project were around $ 46 million, not including the estimated $ 8-12 million for a parking structure.
Leduc’s motion asks staff to prepare a report by the first quarter of 2022 “assessing the potential implications of suspending the Junction East project until a future period.”
Kingsway Entertainment District (KED) costs have also increased by $ 14 million, according to a report last summer, bringing the proposed budget to $ 114 million. KED is in limbo as Gateway Casinos requested a break on its role in development.
Gateway has been hit hard by the pandemic, with gaming facilities closed for long periods of time. They are closing again on January 5 as the province struggles to contain the spread of the Omicron variant.
There is also a motion on KED at the January 11 city council meeting. District 3 Council. Gerry Montpellier requests an information report in light of rising construction costs and uncertainty surrounding the pandemic.
Read both motions here.