Idea for new cultural centre

Re: $5M campaign for culture (Castanet, July 13) and Aging courthouse to stay (Castanet, Oct. 16)

Has there been any discussion on rethinking the funding source for a new cultural centre (in Vernon)?

(How about) a partnership with the provincial government? The province builds a new court house on the proposed site for the cultural centre with provincial dollars and the city gets possession of the current court house and creates a cultural centre and museum.

This is not that far-fetched. Think about it—a classic building for a museum. I've seen this many times over in travels around other cities.

Yes, some money would need to be spent on refurbishing the old court house but much less than the cost of a new building as proposed. The museum could take one floor and the cultural centre could take the other floor. The basement could be used by non-profit groups.

On the other side of the coin, do we need a new court house? (The existing one) needs many dollars spent to bring it up to basic tech standards (IT, HVAC etc.) One day it will outlive its functionality. The sheriff's don't have a proper secure bay for movement of high-risk and high-profile prisoners.

The province is leasing off-site space for the provincial prosecution service (a/k/a Crown Counsel) and there are other shortcomings of a modern day court house.

Let's get (local) MLA Harwinder Sandhu and the city councils in Vernon and Coldstream together at the table.

K. Ferguson, Vernon

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