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Place des Arts update: Construction work on downtown project expected to begin in September

The first of the big projects will be completed by the end of 2020
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The site of the future Place des Arts -- at the corner of Elgin and Larch streets north of Medina Lane in downtown Sudbury – is seen Wednesday. (Darren MacDonald/Sudbury.com)

While there doesn't seem to be much going on at the construction site downtown, officials at Place des Arts says the project is moving forward and is on schedule.

The four-storey, 40,000-square-foot building, which is being built at the corner of Elgin and Larch streets north of Medina Lane, will be home to eight French-language cultural organizations. 

The $30 million building will also be home to an early childhood arts centre with room for 15 children per day, a bistro, a 120-seat multifunction studio, a concert hall with about 300 seats, and a contemporary art gallery and gift and book shop.

Spokesperson Martin Lajeunesse said Thursday the company that won the construction contract – HEIN – is in the process of hiring subcontractors and getting the necessary approvals from the city. 

While a spring startup was their “ambitious” goal, Lajeunesse said selecting the contractor through an RFP and finalizing the contract with HEIN took a bit longer.

“They started work in July, rather than rather June, and the first part was working through the city for variety of permitting issues and all kinds of stuff that you don't actually see when you're walking by the site,” he said. “So we're thrilled that now people can see that there's things things going, on not just behind the scenes.

We're looking forward to the structure going up in the in the coming months.”

The area has been sectioned off and prepared for construction, Lajeunesse said, and some barricades have gone up to restrict traffic flow near the site.

“We're anticipating some cement will be poured sometime in mid-September, and the steel should start being delivered shortly thereafter,” he said. 

At different points during the process, streets near the site will be blocked off temporarily for deliveries and other work. Lajeunesse said they are working with Downtown Sudbury and their neighbours to keep them informed about what will happen and when.

“I can say, generally, at some point if there's a crane being delivered, that's going to impact traffic,” he said. “We're trying to be good neighbours, and we hired a contractor who's aware that is a priority for us. So we're anticipating it's going to go fairly smoothly.”

Exactly when it will be completed – other than before the end of 2020 – remains to be seen, but he said they are planning a big celebration and opening ceremony before the end of next year.




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