Regina library board unable to buy Masonic Temple next door
The Regina Public Library is experiencing a set-back in its plans to build a new central downtown branch after members of the Masons voted against selling their building.
The library board had hoped it could buy the Masonic Temple that sits next to the existing downtown library on Lorne Street.
The board had hoped to build a massive new "cultural centre" that housed a new library building and the Globe Theatre. Now Darlene Hincks-Joehnck admits she's not sure that partnership can still move forward.
“It’s a little more difficult to do the cultural centre of a size that would accommodate the Globe and the library without the Masons’ property,” said Hincks-Joehnck.
Globe artistic director and CEO Ruth Smillie says that partnership won't work out now that the Masons have decided not to sell the building.
Smillie says the theatre is still looking to the future -- but it will be a different future.
“The cultural centre would have been a really exceptional destination in the downtown, but it’s not going to work out now so we do need to move on,” said Smillie.
Hincks-Joehnck won't get into the specifics of what was offered.
“They declined and that’s fine. We respect that. We’ll move on to look at other options that we had in mind,” said Hincks-Joehnck.
She wouldn't give any details on what other options the board may be pursuing. It’s not certain if renovating the building is an option. It was built in the early 1960s.
“We as a board know we have to do something with central library. The building is becoming dilapitaded and needs some work or we need to do something,” said Hincks-Joehnck.
As for the Globe Theatre, Smillie says she is working with a local developer to try to find a new buiding.
The theatre is close to settling a lawsuit with its current landlord over the state of its building. That should result in some improvements.
Edited by CJME's Karen Brownlee.