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New $65M cultural hub at Tom Davies Square moving forward

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Tuesday night, Sudbury city councillors heard from the architects in charge of the plan that would move the downtown library and Sudbury Multicultural Folk Arts Association, among other groups, into Tom Davies Square.

In November, city council approved the $65 million plan to renovate city hall rather than building a new facility for the cultural hub.

A project overview and timeline were presented to council Tuesday along with some accessibility options.

Councillors heard it would cost an additional $10 million to build ramps to all four floors of the facility, but in the end, voted against it.

"Today, we had an expert, an advocate on the disability side who actually does this for a living, advising on buildings that are new or refurbishments, like we're trying to do here and basically what she told us was having ramps on every floor does not make it that more accessible," Sudbury Mayor Paul Lefebvre told CTVNewsNorthernOntario.ca in an interview after the city council meeting.

"It's a big plus if you can, but certainly with the constraints that we have here at Tom Davies Square, it might not be possible."

Council voted in favour of just having one ramp from the first to the second floor, which is already included in the $65 million budget.

"The Cultural Hub at Tom Davies Square will involve retrofitting both 200 Brady St. and 199 Larch St. to include a new central library, the Art Gallery of Sudbury and the Sudbury Multicultural and Folk Arts Association," the city said in a news release.

"To make room for these new services at Tom Davies Square, a municipal services relocation project will move some municipal services from 200 Brady St. to the provincial tower at 199 Larch St."

The next step in the project is the schematic design work, which will begin later this spring.

"The design for the renovated facility will continue to follow and build upon the vision and themes identified during the Junction East community engagement process in 2021," the city said.

Construction is expected to start next year and be completed by the end of 2026. 

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