Some time ago I wrote about the possibility of the City and uOttawa combining resources to build one major library downtown.That looks like it is not in the works any time soon, as last month Ontario gave uOttawa another 30 million bucks to add to its present main library.
However, the Arts Court redevelopement is another example of how the CIty and uOttawa can combine resources to build things of interest to both downtown. Mind you this is on a much samller scale. I have bolded the part that mentions the city-university partnership.
Interesting that there would also be a residential component to help pay the bills---as per what is proposed at Lansdowne.
OTTAWA — With plans to move the Ottawa Art Gallery to Lansdowne Park seeming to have definitively fallen through, city council’s finance committee is to decide Thursday whether to press on with building new space for it at Arts Court near the Rideau Centre, in a project that would include a private residential tower.
It’s part of a major, $36.1-million expansion of the repurposed old courthouse, of which the city’s share would be about $12 million. The city would also ask the Department of Canadian Heritage for $9 million, include a small “black box” theatre and other facilities for the nearby University of Ottawa in exchange for $6 million, and ask Arts Court users to raise about $3.2 million themselves. Another $2.3 million would come from savings on maintenance at the existing building.
The city would also hope to make $3.5 million for the rest of the project by including the tower, estimated to be 18 storeys tall. The plans are still sketchy, but it would likely be built at the corner of Waller Street and Daly Avenue, across from the Les Suites hotel.
The result would be a dramatic expansion of room for arts in the complex. The Ottawa Art Gallery would go from net space of about 10,000 square feet to 31,000 square feet. The space used by four artists’ groups — the SAW Gallery and video collective, Art Engine and the Independent Filmmakers Cooperative of Ottawa — would go from about 8,000 square feet to more than 19,000. And besides the U of O theatre, the building would have a 350-seat presentation space and a screening room with between 120 and 150 seats.
A city report says that in all, the renovation and expansion would cost about $460 a square foot, compared with $420 a square foot for the new archives building in Nepean and $422 for the expansion of Centrepointe Theatre.
The finance committee will be voting to move ahead with the project as long as a final plan that meets everyone’s needs can be agreed on, and subject to all the funding coming through. Immediately, though, the city would spend $1.5 million to hire architects and designers to turn rough concept plans into specifics. Sharing the high-end work would be the local firm of Barry Padolsky (which has overseen the renovation of the Museum of Nature), and Toronto-based Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects, which has a strong track record on major arts-oriented project such as the Bell Lightbox in Toronto, and whose partner Marianne McKenna is on the design-review panel for Lansdowne