Recommendations presented regarding new civic building in Stewiacke

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STEWIACKE - Town council here has some recommendations to consider regarding a possible new civic building.

Pam Osborne, chairwoman of the Stewiacke civic building committee, is shown at the current community centre in Stewiacke, which sits above the fire hall. The committee has recommended town council look at hiring a structural engineer to see if the building would be suitable to add onto for a new civic building for town hall and the library. If not, the committee is looking at a new building at a new location.

Pam Osborne, chairwoman of the civic building committee, said recommendations were presented to council last week and hopes to see motions made during council's November meeting.

"The committee is still looking at two options - renovating the community centre, or construction of a new building at a new location," said Osborne. "Council needs to decide if they want to authorize the committee to continue with those two options."

Since August 2011, a committee has been designated to research the possibility of a new civic building that would house the town hall, including council chambers, and the library.

"The big thing with the residents in the area is to find out the renovation costs for the community centre, if it is able to be renovated," Osborne said, adding a structural engineer would have to be brought in to look at the centre, which was built in 1979-80. "Or the cost of a new building, and its location."

If it's not structurally sound to add onto the building, then the hope is to build a new building - possibly at the site of the old elementary school. The town currently owns that property, which is just up from the current town hall.

For more than 65 years, the Town of Stewiacke has had at least an office within the current site, which once housed Nova Scotia Power and the fire department.

After the department moved to its current location under the community centre, the town's offices took over the front part of the building. The library is currently at the back.

"If we were to go with a new building, we're looking at the old elementary school site because the town still owns it, and we could apply for Brownfield Funding through (Federation of Canadian Municipalities) - which is about building something where something else once existed," she said.

The site of the old elementary school has sat vacant since the school was demolished in 2009. It closed the year before after having opened in 1949.

If council makes a motion not in favour of continuing with either option, Osborne said she's hoping council will make a motion for the committee to look into other options.

Twitter: @TDNRaissa


Organizations: Nova Scotia Power, Canadian Municipalities

Geographic location: Stewiacke

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