City extends C4 initiative land agreement

Plans for the Cranna Community Cultural Centre (C4) continue to move forward. City council approved an extension

Plans for the Cranna Community Cultural Centre (C4) continue to move forward. City council approved an extension of the land abeyance agreement this week.

The six-month extension will allow the C4 initiative committee to gauge the viability of the proposed facility. The group hopes to have the initial building design and business plan ready by the fall of 2015.

The proposed centre will be a multi-use facility for the community to celebrate the arts, support families, children and enhance the general well being of Lacombe and surrounding area. It will house a childcare facility, the Parent Link Centre and a performing arts venue.

“The group hopes the initiative will ultimately serve as a model of how the community can work together to achieve mutual desirable outcomes,” stated Community Economic Development Manager Guy Lapointe in his report to council.

The City and Wolf Creek Public Schools (WCPS) are temporarily holding in place the designated land east of City Hall, near the Parkland Regional Library, while the committee assembles the building design and business plan. The agreement expires this spring, which would then release the land from the abeyance agreement.

Committee members requested more time to prepare for the project in the proposed location, as it provides access to local schools and the existing athletics and recreational facilities.

Councillor Grant Harder, who sits on the C4 initiative committee, said the committee debated for a long time about requesting the extension. “At the time, we didn’t have enough information to decide if it is a viable enterprise or not,” he said. “With the extension, we will have a detailed design showing what the building will look like. We will be able to foresee how many nights a week the lights will be on in the theatre.”

Councillor Wayne Armishaw questioned why the group had not requested a one-year extension. “We want to make sure this moves forward quickly,” explained Harder.

Recently, the committee selected a consulting team, Schick, Shiner and Associates, to complete a preliminary design and business plan for the proposed multipurpose C4 centre. Over the next few months, the consultants will interview stakeholders to update community needs information, review existing building plans, and develop the preliminary design for the entire building.

C4 is a partnership made up of the Lacombe Performing Arts Centre Foundation, Lacombe Day Care, Lacombe FCSS and the City of Lacombe. Lapointe stated the C4 committee would also be making the same request to the WCPS board.