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Letter: Lindsay wants to know candidates' Junction East stance

Ballooning project costs means money would be better spent on existing infrastructure, says CARP Sudbury president
An artist’s rendition of the proposed Junction East building, as seen from Shaughnessy Street looking east.

A question that should be put before all candidates in the current municipal election is their position with respect to the Junction East (Culture Hub) project for a new library and art gallery on Shaughnessy Street next to the present Sudbury Theatre Centre.

Costs have doubled from original estimates and could go higher, now close to $100 million, as evidenced by the new public-school project in New Sudbury (Lasalle Elementary) that according to an article in has increased in cost from an approved amount $12.6 million to now over $17 million, a not uncommon situation as evidenced by many projects locally and nationally due to inflation factors and other unforeseen circumstances. 

It was just months ago when the KED arena project ballooned in cost from under $100 million to $215 million and now discussion of less costly renovation to the present downtown arena, like the North Bay arena, which is the same age as our facility.  

Should not this be a consideration for the present library on McKenzie Street and the Art Gallery on John Street, both buildings which, like our arena, have much valuable life left in them and if requiring some upgrades could be realized at much less cost than building new?  

As well the land prepared for the Junction East project could be better utilized for the arena, theatre center and other downtown parking needs.

Could not the money saved by sensible renovation and restoration needed for existing properties make more economic sense? 

It will be interesting to learn what candidates have to say. Plan to ask at candidates’ meetings such as planned by the local chapter of the Canadian Association of Retired Persons (CARP) and the Sudbury Arts Council at 1.30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 1 at the Parkside Older Adults Centre on Durham Street. 

John Lindsay 

President of CARP Sudbury