Things are finally coming together for the Cornwall Arts & Culture Centre. At the Monday, February 27th meeting of City Council, the tender for the construction of the Arts & Culture Centre was awarded to 152610 Canada Incorporated operating as Laurin & Company, from Nepean, Ontario, at the total bid price of $10,389,999.70, following a lively discussion amongst council members.
There was a large presence from the art community in the audience that evening who were anxious to see this tender approved. Councilors Elaine MacDonald and Syd Gardiner voiced their support for the project and stressed that the time to move forward is now. Councilor Dean Hollingsworth voiced concerns about the project going over the $10M budget.
A motion from Councilor Sarah Good to defer approving the tender to consider moving the project to the Portlands in partnership with our neighbours in Akwesasne opened a lively debate. Ultimately, it was decided that it wasn’t fair to everyone who contributed to the $1.3M in donations already raised for the art centre concept as is to change the location last-minute. It was also suggested that more donations in the pipeline would be jeopardized if this change was to pass.
“I have so many reasons why I disagree with the motion to defer and the first one is the time that is involved. Let me simply say this: time is money. At one time, the project to renovate the Bank of Montreal was $6 million dollars… now we’re at 10 [million],” said Councilor MacDonald.
The tender was passed with all in favor except for Councilor Hollingsworth.