A community gathering space was created in front of the new Red Deer Culture Services Centre before the 2019 Canada Winter Games. (Advocate file photo).

A community gathering space was created in front of the new Red Deer Culture Services Centre before the 2019 Canada Winter Games. (Advocate file photo).

Red Deer’s Culture Services Centre to get additional $4.6 M in renovations

It’s one of many capital projects approved by city council

Red Deer’s new Culture Services Centre will get $4.6 million of office renovations so some parks and community services staff can move in.

Mayor Tara Veer was among two council members who voted against this capital budget item on Tuesday, saying the community should have been consulted.

One provision of taking over the former Central Intermediate School from the public school district in 2017 was turning it wholly into a community arts and culture hub, added Veer. She felt school division officials and the public should have a say about a partial change of the building’s use.

General-manager of planning Tara Lodewyk told council that the Culture Services Centre will not lose any of its current arts space.

This means the lower level will continue to house arts studios and workshops, while the main level will retain the Viewpoint Art Gallery, as well as administrative offices for arts and culture. (This first phase of renovations had previously cost $7 million.)

Lodewyk also added that the outdoor plaza will also remain as a community gathering place.

However, all unfinished space on the top floor of the brick building, as well as two floors in the south-side addition will be turned into offices for 120 city parks and community services employees.

City council heard that by the end of 2022, some city offices would be moved from leased premises in the Professional Building into the city-owned Culture Services building, saving taxpayers more than $600,000 in rental costs annually.

The majority of councillors approved this latest renovation on Tuesday, saying it made financial sense to optimize city-owned space for municipal offices.

“We are spending money for a significant savings… It’s a sound business decision,” said Coun. Michael Dawe. He believes the community has already gained a far superior arts and culture space than when it was located on 39th Street.

But the mayor and Coun. Tanya Handley unsuccessfully argued that this wasn’t the time to spend $4.6 million of a flexible provincial grant on this renovation. Veer also noted city hall is already being upgraded and many municipal departments have been downsized. “You can get very favourable lease rates,” considering the amount of empty office space in the downtown, she added.

Other capital budget approvals on Tuesday were nearly $14 million of roadway improvements for 2021 (all covered by a provincial grant), as well as a fire training facility for $4.4 million, a civic yards flood berm for $4.6 million, a Collicutt Centre maintenance upgrade for $2.9 million, annual maintenance to stormwater system for $8 million, and $6.3 million of work to a CP Rail overpass on Hwy 11A as part of the North Land connector project.

Council will discuss proposed upgrades to the G.H. Dawe Community Centre on Wednesday.

Red Deer City Council

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Whistle Stop Cafe owner Christopher Scott and his sister Melodie are serving sit-down customers in their Mirror diner to protest health restrictions that they say are unfair to restaurants and other small businesses. Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff
Central Alberta restaurant owner defies health restrictions by serving diners

Whistle Stop Cafe owner says pandemic restrictions unfair to restaurants and small businesses

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said in her daily update on Monday that 362 new COVID cases have been identified and 7,200 tests done in the last 24 hours. (File photo)
COVID-19: UK variant may have entered broader community says Alberta health minister

25 cases of two variants identified in Alberta and one not linked to travel

An ice sculpture of a bee with a timely message was created near the Ross Street Patio. It’s party of a Downtown Business Association initiative to draw more people downtown to support local businesses. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).
Ice sculptures created to draw more people to downtown Red Deer

Three sculptures can be seem at various venues

Lab and x-ray technologist Rebecca Walter demonstrates a new digital radiographic X-ray unit funded by an $850,000 donation. The new unit is at the Sylvan Lake Advanced Ambulatory Care Service.
Photo contributed
New Sylvan Lake X-ray unit up and running

Radiographic x-ray unit made possible by $850,000 donation from Sylvan Lake couple

(Black Press file photo)
Police seeking suspects in Bowden armed robbery

Man was beaten and robbed of his wallet

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

FILE - In this Monday, March 11, 2019, file photo, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders speaks during a news briefing at the White House, in Washington. Former White House spokeswoman Sanders is running for Arkansas governor, a source told The Associated Press, late Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci, File)
Ex-Trump spokeswoman Sanders running for Arkansas governor

Ex-Trump spokeswoman Sanders running for Arkansas governor

FILE - In this Jan. 23, 2021, file photo, registered Nurse Shyun Lin, left, gives Roberto Fisher, 72, the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at a pop-up vaccination site in the William Reid Apartments in the Brooklyn borough of New York. Coronavirus deaths and cases per day in the U.S. dropped markedly over the past couple of weeks but are still running at alarmingly high levels, and the effort to snuff out COVID-19 is becoming an ever more urgent race between the vaccine and the mutating virus. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, Pool, File)
US virus numbers drop, but race against new strains heats up

US virus numbers drop, but race against new strains heats up

President-elect Joe Biden, right, listens as Janet Yellen, who Biden nominated to serve as Secretary of the Treasury, speaks at The Queen theater, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Janet Yellen wins Senate approval as treasury secretary

Janet Yellen wins Senate approval as treasury secretary

Vice President Mike Pence administers the oath of office to Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D, during a reenactment ceremony in the Old Senate Chamber at the Capitol in Washington, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021. (Samuel Corum/Pool via AP)
Trump impeachment goes to Senate, testing his sway over GOP

Trump impeachment goes to Senate, testing his sway over GOP

FILE - In this Dec. 18, 2020 file photo, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador gives his daily, morning news conference at the presidential palace, Palacio Nacional, in Mexico City. Mexico President Andrés Manuel López Obrador says he has tested positive for COVID-19 and is under medical treatment, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte, File)
Mexican president works from isolation after virus test

Mexican president works from isolation after virus test

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

People arrive to be tested for COVID-19 at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, January 24, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Too soon to know if Canada’s COVID-19 case decline will continue, Tam says

Too soon to know if Canada’s COVID-19 case decline will continue, Tam says

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is administered to a personal support worker at the Ottawa Hospital Tuesday December 15, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canadian provinces push back vaccination plans as Pfizer deliveries grind to a halt

Canadian provinces push back vaccination plans as Pfizer deliveries grind to a halt

Most Read