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Preparation work begins at the Junction East site

An Enbridge gas line is being relocated at the Junction East Cultural Hub site to make room for the proposed $98.5M library/art gallery building next to the Sudbury Theatre Centre

Work on the Junction East Cultural Hub site has begun, with a crew on site this week relocating an Enbridge gas line from the proposed downtown site next to the Sudbury Theatre Centre. 

“This is required to move the line out of the Junction East building footprint so the construction can proceed next year,” a city spokesperson clarified.

“Through the summer, the architectural team and all partners have continued work to create a detailed design that will form the basis of the construction documents for the tender,” they added. “Exact details on materials, finishes, electrical and plumbing systems, structural engineering requirements, and more, will all form part of the detailed design.”

City council approved a conceptual design of the Junction East Cultural Hub building for the $98.5-million project during the June 28 city council meeting, after first seeing it during a presentation at the May 3 special city council meeting. The building is anticipated to house a new central library, Art Gallery of Sudbury and the Sudbury Multicultural and Folk Arts Association. 

Still conceptual, the work taking place now at the direction of city council is intended to bring the design to a stage where the project is able to be brought to tender. This process is expected to continue until mid-November, at which time the city team behind the effort will develop a tender package for release early in the new year.

There are four prequalified bidders for this project from a total of 10 companies to take initial interest in the project. They include:

  • EllisDon Corporation (Mississauga)
  • Bird Construction Group (Mississauga)
  • Aquicon Construction Co. Ltd. (Brampton)
  • PCL Constructors Northern Ontario Inc. (Sudbury)

While this is taking place, the Cultural Campus Committee has been meeting regularly. This group includes the Art Gallery of Sudbury, Greater Sudbury Public Library and Sudbury Multicultural and Folk Arts Association, with each carrying a footprint of the building. 

The Sudbury Theatre Centre is also part of the committee, despite not being included in the new building currently proposed. Recent city reports have noted “synergies” the theatre is expected to establish with the new building, being constructed directly next door to it on their parking lot.

City council is expected to receive their next update on this project during their Oct. 4 meeting. 

In July, city council voted to back out of the Kingsway Entertainment District, a long-discuss municipal arena/events centre project whose cost ballooned to $215 million, which was more than double its original $100-million budget.

The Junction East Cultural Hub has similarly ballooned from its original price tag of $46.5 million, though it has also changed in location and scope since it was initially proposed.

Included in the $98.5-million budget is a contingency budget of $14 million, which Strategic Initiative, Communications and Citizen Services director Ian Wood said in June offers enough wiggle room that he’s confident it can be built within this price point.

The building is expected to open in 2025. 

Tyler Clarke covers city hall and political affairs for Sudbury.com.