BY KALISHA MENDONSA
Representatives of the Cranna Community Cultural Centre (C4) Project board presented to members of council this week to update on project budget and building concept.
Neil Evans and Brittany Mulder had prepared a presentation in which they let Council know the C4 project group had managed to reduce the size of the proposed building design as well as reduce the budget to below $30 million.
To accommodate their new plan, they also requested council a one year extension to the existing land abeyance agreement.
“The suggestions from council last time we were here included reducing the footprint of the building, which we have done and now stays well-within the land base we’ve been given. Our new design accommodates that, and includes plans for later expansion should that be required down the line,” Evans said.
“What council said to us was to shrink the footprint and I think we’ve done that well. The suggestion we received to also shrink the budget has been dealt with, as well.”
The City of Lacombe and Wolf Creek School Division have held land east of City Hall in abeyance while the C4 project group assembled a business plan and building design. The original date for this agreement to expire was in fall, 2015 and was extended to Oct. 26th.
The group requested an additional extension in the agreement to Oct. 31st, 2017. C4 will also request a similar extension from Wolf Creek School Board.
“Our aim is to make sure that the show can go on and on and on,” Evans said. He added that the extension was necessary due to the level of engagement with potential community partners.
The C4 Initiative group has spent time over the last year gathering input from local groups such as theatre companies, dance schools, musical organizations and many more to determine how the facility could suit the needs of a wide variety of community members, both in and outside of Lacombe.
“Our present budget for the most recent design is $24.9 million. That is down considerably from where we were – over $30 million. Our projected cost for the year 2021 is $27 million,” Evans said.
“Our proposal is that we share that $27 million three ways between the City of Lacombe, the Province of Alberta and our federal government in Ottawa.”
Mulder added to the presentation by stressing the need of a cultural community space in the City.
“A community performing arts centre will encourage community engagement, positively impact our economy, improve citizen’s quality of life and give opportunity to express through different art forms. As well, it gives a way to understand different cultures, expand our intellect and give us a sense of pride and belonging,” she said.
She referenced a feasibility study conducted by the Lacombe Performing Arts Centre Foundation, saying their results showed a huge demand for the centre.
“Lacombe is hungry for the arts and we are passionate to advocate that hunger,” she said.
Council Member Grant Harder said there is room in the facility for an art gallery, a rehearsal space, an auxiliary space and a multi-purpose studio theatre. He said the facility would bring a great economic benefit to the City.
The facility has been presented with a total capacity to seat up several hundred visitors, as well as providing a number of storage and practice spaces for local arts and culture organizations.
If the C4 Initiative moves forward with council permission, the Initiative will be able to begin their fundraising stage of development.