According to the city, the building inspection reports show the building to be in poor condition and in need of significant improvements and that the cost to tear it down would be cheaper than upgrading the building. The city says, the estimated cost to upgrade the building and bring it up to current code would be more than $6 million dollars and would attract an ongoing annual operating cost of more than $400,000 a year.
“We want to be able to provide more spaces for our residents to enjoy and having that land available allows us to do that,” says Mayor Chris Spearman.
The former YMCA Stafford Drive location is situated on an area called the Civic Common. The Civic Common area is the four-square-block section that includes land occupied by City Hall south to the Civic Ice Centre as well as the Civic Field, the Yates Theatre, the LSCO complex and the Old Courthouse.
“The building was purpose-built to be a recreation facility,” says City Manager, Bram Strain. “That in combination with the condition report and associated costs to bring to today’s standards has led to this decision. Removal of the building is the most economical decision and aligns for future use with the proposed Civic Common plan”.
The total estimated cost of demolition and redevelopment of the site in accordance with the Civic Common Master Plan is $1.35 million dollars.
The land falls under the Civic Common Master Plan, which was finalized in fall of 2018. The plan, which involved extensive stakeholder and public engagement, outlines a vision for creating a welcoming public space that encourages social interaction.