Mayor rethinks downtown building
Nolan Crouse has hit the pause button on his proposed project that would create more civic space downtown
Saturday, Jun 21, 2014 06:00 am
Mayor Nolan Crouse’s proposal for a new downtown building is on hold while he considers his next move.
The mayor did not make a mid-June deadline to submit a project charter for his proposed downtown building. The deadline was for council-suggested projects to be considered during the 2015 budget process.
“I decided because of the significance of a downtown building, another building, because of the significance it warranted more than a project charter. It warrants some conversation with the public, with the stakeholders and I don’t want to do this alone. I don’t want to do anything without council’s endorsement of me moving forward,” Mayor Nolan Crouse said in an interview Wednesday.
Crouse announced to council and the public in April that he was planning to propose a new downtown building that could include space for the Musée Héritage Museum, the library, office space, parking and possibly some art gallery space.
The building would go on a city-owned empty lot on St. Thomas Street.
While he has a model made, Crouse said he needs to think out the “conversation approach,” noting any consultation that takes place can’t be with himself alone.
“I need to just step back and make sure … this needs to be handled very, very well and really thoughtful, and I haven’t thought through it well enough, frankly,” Crouse said.
Crouse said he let the rest of council know that he wouldn’t be meeting the June 13 deadline.
In April Crouse said the community needs a conversation about the growing space pressures in St. Albert, noting there are many space-needs-related projects listed as unfunded on council’s budget books, including a civic building, community centre, library branch and a museum expansion.