Art Gallery and Library
About the Project
Both the main branch of the Greater Sudbury Public Library (GSPL) and the Art Gallery of Sudbury (AGS) are very much focused on community service and both have long outgrown their current locations. Separately, the GSPL and AGS have explored options to seek new downtown locations. As a result of preliminary analysis, a number of synergies were identified and City Council subsequently provided direction to formally investigate the feasibility of a joint facility.
This co-location has been identified as a way to reduce capital and operating costs relative to separate facilities and thereby increasing the likelihood of implementation of needed new facilities.
A working group consisting of members from the Greater Sudbury Public Library Board and of the Art Gallery of Sudbury Board of Directors has been established to assist and support City of Greater Sudbury staff in the development of a new co-located public library and art gallery facility. They will assist with site evaluation, the development of a business and operational plan, design and engineering, communications and community engagement.
Budget and Breakdown of Contributions
As presented to City Council on June 28th, the estimated capital cost ranges from $35 to $45 million. The Working Group continues to work with Lord Cultural Resource to refine the business plan and operational model.
Anticipated Project Outcomes
The Library-Art Gallery will provide vital public space for people to gather and connect, to learn and to share ideas, and to inspire creativity. This city owned and operated new downtown facility envisions a building that is 61,800 sq. ft. of which 43,800 sq. ft. would be dedicated to the public library and 18,000 sq. ft is dedicated space for the Art Gallery of Sudbury. While the two institutions will be sharing space in one building they will continue to have two distinct identities with separate missions, governance, staffing structures and sources of operating revenues.
Anticipated Community Benefits
A new shared facility for the GSPL and AGS is expected to create a cultural hub in the downtown, while contributing to the arts and culture district of Greater Sudbury. Both the library and the art gallery would have more space to better serve the community as a resource to information, a catalyst for ideas and imagination and an engine of cultural and economic benefit. Providing access to Greater Sudbury’s important collection of archival materials and regional art including works by Indigenous Peoples, francophone and Anglophone artists will foster a climate of lifelong learning and creativity. This will enrich the lives of citizens and provide opportunities that contribute to the quality of life for all people in Greater Sudbury.
Current Status and Next Steps
In June 2017, CGS Council approved the Library-Art Gallery project concept for the development of a new co-located library and art gallery facility in downtown Sudbury. Council authorized staff to continue working with Lord Cultural Resources to finalize a detailed business plan, operational model, conceptual design and financial plan for the proposed centre. Staff continues to work with the consultant to complete these deliverables.
On September 12th, Council endorsed the site evaluation criteria and weighting to be used to assess the proposed sites. An evaluation team comprised of working group members, internal staff and the consultant will assess a number of proposed sites to arrive at a recommended site for development.
On November 21, the co-chairs of the working group and staff will report to Council with a detailed business plan, operational model, conceptual design, financial plan and recommended site.
Eleethea Savage, Manager of Special Projects